Team USA goes for Olympic gold

Kobe Bryant, LeBron James and the rest of the U.S. men's basketball team are eyeing Olympic gold.

<p>The college basketball world was turned upside down on Sept. 29 when the the U.S. Attorney&#39;s Office for the Southern District of New York laid out findings from an F.B.I. investigation that uncovered mass corruption, bribery and wire fraud involving some of the sport&#39;s top programs. </p><p>Four assistant coaches were charged with varying violations: Tony Bland of USC, Emanuel &quot;Book&quot; Richardson of Arizona, Lamont Evans of Oklahoma State and Chuck Person of Auburn. No universities nor head coaches have been charged, but the investigation is ongoing, and multiple schools (most notably, Louisville) have been implicated even if no individual from the program has been charged...yet.</p><p>It’s a massive story. The U.S. House’s Energy and Commerce Committee <a href="http://www.latimes.com/sports/sportsnow/la-sp-congress-college-basketball-20170928-story.html" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:has even requested a briefing on the matter" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">has even requested a briefing on the matter</a>. </p><p>First, let&#39;s outline who the notable non-coaches named in the various suits are. Each of the following men are facing federal charges relating to bribery. </p><p>• <strong>James &quot;Jim&quot; Gatto</strong> — Adidas&#39; global sports marketing director for basketball. </p><p>• <strong>Merl Code</strong> — a former player for Clemson who is now affiliated with Adidas. </p><p>• <strong>Munish Sood</strong> — the founder of Princeton Capital, an investment services firm that, among other ventures, manages professional athletes&#39; money. </p><p>• <strong>Christian Dawkins</strong> — Former agent for ASM Sports</p><p>• <strong>Jonathan Brad Augustine</strong> — Program director for the Orlando-based (and Adidas-sponsored) 1Family AAU team.</p><p>• <strong>Rashan Michel</strong> — Founder and owner of Thompson Bespoke Clothing, a high-end manufacturer based in Atlanta. He was reportedly <a href="https://www.si.com/college-basketball/2017/11/07/auburn-assistant-chuck-person-indicted-ncaa-fraud-case" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:indicted by a federal grand jury Nov. 7" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">indicted by a federal grand jury Nov. 7</a>.</p><p>Also important to note is the fact that there are three different criminal complaints.</p><p>• <a href="https://www.justice.gov/usao-sdny/press-release/file/998756/download" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:United States of America v. Lamont Evans, Emanuel Richardson, Anthony Bland, Christian Dawkins, and Munish Sood" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">United States of America v. Lamont Evans, Emanuel Richardson, Anthony Bland, Christian Dawkins, and Munish Sood</a></p><p>• <a href="https://www.justice.gov/usao-sdny/press-release/file/998746/download" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:United States of America v. Chuck Connors Person and Rashan Michel" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">United States of America v. Chuck Connors Person and Rashan Michel</a></p><p>• <a href="https://www.justice.gov/usao-sdny/press-release/file/998751/download" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:United States of America v. James Gatto, Merl Code, Christian Dawkins, Jonathan Brad Augustine, and Munish Sood" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">United States of America v. James Gatto, Merl Code, Christian Dawkins, Jonathan Brad Augustine, and Munish Sood</a></p><p>?The scandal has received an overwhelming amount of coverage, with every piece focusing on a different aspect of the investigation. The legal documents outlining the situation are filled with legal jargon. This is an attempt to compile the most important information pertaining to each university and present it in a digestible way. </p><h3>Louisville</h3><p>Louisville finds itself engulfed in yet another embarrassing scandal—this one so salacious that even noted escape artist Rick Pitino couldn&#39;t pull another Houdini—but no coach from the university has been charged yet. </p><p>Louisville is referred to in the U.S. vs. James Gatto <a href="https://www.justice.gov/usao-sdny/press-release/file/998751/download" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:complaint" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">complaint</a>, though no individual working at Louisville is named.</p><p><strong><em>What the complaint says</em></strong></p><p>&quot;In or around May of 2017, at the request of at least one coach from University-6, DAWKINS, James Gatto, a/k/a &quot;Jim,&quot; MERL CODE, MUNISH SOOD, the defendants and other agreed to funnel $100,000 (payable in four installments) from Company-1 to the family of Player-10. Shortly after the agreement with the family of Player-10 was reached in late May and early June, Player-10 publicly committed to University-6.&quot;</p><p>And, later:</p><p>&quot;Shortly thereafter, Coach-1 left the room, and DAWKINS, AUUSTINE, UC-1 AND CW-1 proceeded to discuss the Player-10 scheme described in paragraphs 27 to 35, <em>supra, </em>and, in particular, the involvement of Coach-2 in securing funding from Company-1 for Player-10&#39;s family. DAWKINS, who had been negotiaating directly with Player-10&#39;s family, noted that Company-1 had originally agreed to pay a &quot;certain number&quot; to Player-10&#39;s family, but that a rival athletic capparel company was &quot;coming with a higher number,&quot; such that DAWKINS needed to &quot;get more&quot; from Company-1 to secure Player-20&#39;s commitment to attend University-6. DAWKINS then said that he had spoken with Coach-2 about getting additional money for Player-10&#39;s family and informed Coach-2 that &quot;I need you to call Jim Gatto, [the defendant,] who&#39;s the head of everything&quot; at Company-1&#39;s basketball program. </p><p>Based on my review of call records, I am aware that on or about May 27, 2017, JAMES GATTO, a/k/a &quot;Jim,&quot; the defendant, had two telephone conversations with a phone number used by Coach-2.&quot;</p><p><strong><em>What it alleges</em></strong></p><p>Gatto, Code and Sood paid $100,000 at the request of at least one Louisville coach to Player-10 to get him to commit to Louisville, have Sood manage his money and sign with Adidas upon entering the NBA. Player-10 then committed to Louisville and has been suspended indefinitely. </p><p>University-6 is Louisville. We know this because it&#39;s described in the suit as a public research university in Kentucky with approximately 22,640 students and 21 varsity sports teams; Louisville&#39;s official enrollment is 22,640 and it fields, you guessed it, 21 varsity sports teams. Player-10 appears to be Brian Bowen, as he&#39;s the only guy to commit to Louisville in that late-May, early-June time frame (plus, he&#39;s the type of five star who could cost $100,000). </p> <p>The second and third paragraphs is where we see really damning accusations against Pitino. Pitino is believed to be Coach-2, which means this complain accuses him <a href="https://www.si.com/college-basketball/2017/09/28/rick-pitino-louisville-fbi-investigation-coach-2" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:of calling Gatto after being told Bowen needed more money" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">of calling Gatto after being told Bowen needed more money</a>. The third of three calls between Pitino and Gatto came two days before Bowen’s commitment. If you connect the dots, the complaint alleges that Pitino did indeed have direct knowledge of the pay-for-commitment scheme. </p><p><b><i>Personnel Changes</i></b></p><p>Pitino was <a href="https://www.si.com/college-basketball/2017/09/27/louisville-fbi-investigation-rick-pitino-brian-bowen" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:put on administrative leave" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">put on administrative leave</a> a day after the complaints were released, and he was officially fired on Oct. 16. Louisville <a href="https://www.si.com/college-basketball/2017/09/29/david-padgett-louisville-coach-rick-pitino" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:hired" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">hired</a> David Padgett, who coached under Pitino last season, as its new head coach. Louisville also fired assistant coach Jordan Fair and placed another assistant, Kenny Johnson, on <a href="https://www.si.com/college-basketball/2017/10/06/louisville-assistants-paid-leave-corruption-fraud-scheme" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:paid leave" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">paid leave</a>.</p><p>Louisville athletic director Tom Jurich also <a href="https://www.si.com/college-football/2017/10/18/louisville-fires-athletic-director-tom-jurich" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:lost his job" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">lost his job</a> as a result of the scandal. </p><p>Bowen was immediately suspended from basketball activities but remains a student at Louisville. He has reportedly hired an attorney in hopes of eventually being reinstated. </p><p>Two five-star recruits—Anfernee Simons and Courtney Ramey—<a href="https://www.si.com/college-basketball/2017/09/27/louisville-recruiting-anfernee-simons-courtney-ramey" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:have decommitted from Louisville as a result of the scandal" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">have decommitted from Louisville as a result of the scandal</a>. </p><h3>Arizona </h3><p><strong><em>What the complaint says</em></strong></p><p>&quot;(Undercover Agent)-1, working with CHRISTIAN DAWKINS and MUNISH SOOD, the defendants, paid and/or facilitated the payment of $20,000 in bribes to Emanuel Richardson, a/k/a &#39;Book,&#39; the defendant, some of which RICHARDSON appears to have kept for himself and some of which he appears to have provided to at least one prospective high school basketball player (&#39;Player-5&#39;) in order to recruit Player-5 to play for University-4. In exchange for the bribe payments, RICHARDSON agreed to use his influence over the student-athletes he coached to pressure them to retain DAWKINS and SOOD as a manager and financial advisor, respectively.&quot; </p><p><strong><em>What it alleges</em></strong></p><p>A government agent, in conjunction with Dawkins and Sood, paid Arizona assistant Book Richardson $20,000 so he&#39;d use his clout with Arizona players to sway them toward Dawkins&#39; and Soot&#39;s respective businesses. Richardson kept some of the money and gave some to a recruit, <a href="http://www.azcentral.com/story/sports/mlb/diamondbacks/2017/09/27/what-book-richardson-case-means-arizona-wildcats-basketball/707856001/" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:believed to be 2018 point guard Jahvon Quinerly" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">believed to be 2018 point guard Jahvon Quinerly</a>. </p><p>It&#39;s also important to note the Adidas officials—Gatto and Code—aren&#39;t implicated in this part of the scheme, as Arizona is a Nike school.</p><p>But that&#39;s not the only nefarious action Arizona is accused of participating in. There&#39;s something really nasty hidden in a part of a complaint that addresses allegations about Miami (we&#39;ll get to them later).</p><p><strong><em>What the complaint says</em></strong></p><p>&quot;CODE discussed with GATTO... the involvement of CHRISTIAN DAWKINS and JONATHAN BRAD AUGUSTINE, the defendants, in the scheme to facilitate payments to Player-12 in order to secure Player12&#39;s commitment to attend University-7. CODE explained that another Division I university (&#39;University-4&#39;) was offering Player-12 $150,000 &#39;and we&#39;re trying to keep him from going to one of their schools.&#39;&quot; </p><p><strong><em>What it alleges</em></strong></p><p>Code is trying to get Gatto to agree to pay &quot;Player-12&quot; $150,000 to commit to Miami instead of Arizona. </p><p>We know &quot;University-4&quot; is Arizona because it&#39;s described in a separate complaint as the school that employs Book Richardson. We also know that Miami is University-7 because the school <a href="https://miami.247sports.com/Article/President-Julio-Frenk-Confirms-Miami-Basketball-Being-Investigat-108093118" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:has confirmed it is being investigated" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">has confirmed it is being investigated</a> and University-7 is the only school named in the case that fits Miami&#39;s description. </p><p>Player-12 is believed to be five-star recruit Nassir Little, who plays for Augustine&#39;s AAU team—Augustine is accused of funneling Player-12 the money— and <a href="http://www.espn.com/college-sports/basketball/recruiting/player/_/id/216612/nassir-little" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:was being targeted by Arizona and Miami" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">was being targeted by Arizona and Miami</a>. </p><p><a href="https://www.azdesertswarm.com/recruiting/2017/9/28/16380538/nassir-little-aau-team-denies-allegations-fbi-investigation-arizona-miami-bribes-payments-recruiting" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Little&#39;s family denies asking for or being offered any money for his commitment" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">Little&#39;s family denies asking for or being offered any money for his commitment</a>. </p><p><b><i>Personnel changes</i></b></p><p>Little ended up <a href="https://www.si.com/college-basketball/2017/10/04/nassir-little-commitment-north-carolina" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:committing to North Carolina" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">committing to North Carolina</a>.</p><p>Arizona fired Richardson. He has been charged with conspiracy to commit bribery, solicitation of bribes by an agent of a federally funded organization, conspiracy to commit honest services fraud, wire fraud conspiracy and travel act conspiracy. He&#39;s currently out on $50,000 bail but was indicted by a federal grand jury on Nov. 8. </p><p>Sean Miller remains the head coach of an Arizona team that is ranked third in the preseason AP Poll and favored to win the Pac-12.</p><p>After Richardson&#39;s arrest, Miller <a href="https://twitter.com/_Brian_Hamilton/status/915344886634860544" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:released" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">released</a> a statement saying he was &quot;devastated&quot; to learn of the allegations and that he will comply with any investigations into the matter. The statement did not acknowledge any wrongdoing on his part, and he insisted that he has done all he can to &quot;promote and reinforce a culture of compliance.&quot; </p><h3>Miami</h3><p>Like Louisville, no individual at Miami has been charged, but the school is referenced in the complaint against Gatto, Code, Dawkins and Augustine. </p><p><strong><em>What the complaint says</em></strong></p><p>&quot;JAMES GATTO, a/k/a &quot;Jim,&quot; MERL CODE, CHRISTIAN DAWKINS, and JONATHAN BRAD AUGUSTINE, the defendants, and other known and unknown, conspired to illicitly funnel approximately $150,000 from Company-1 to Player-12, another top high school basketball player expected to graduate in 2018, to assist one or more coaches at University-7 in securing Player-12&#39;s commitment to play at University-7, and to further ensure that Player-12 ultimately signed with DAWKINS and with Company-1 upon entering a professional league.&quot;</p><p>&quot;CHRISTIAN DAWKINS and MERL CODE, the defendants, discussed—on a telephone call intercepted over the Dawkins Wiretap—paying Player-12 and/or his family at the request of at least one coach at University-7 (&quot;Coach-3&quot;). During the call, DAWKINS and CODE discussed the involvement of Coach-3 in ensuring that Company-1 would funnel payments to Player-12 in order to secure Player-12&#39;s committment to play at Univeristy-7. In particular, on the call, DAWKINS told CODE that, according to JONATHAN BRAD AUGUSTINE, the defendant, &quot;[Coach-3] knows everything,&quot; and that they could &quot;start the process&quot; to funnel the payments to Player-12 in order to ensure that Player-12 would commit to attend University-7 upon his graduation in 2018.&quot;</p><p><strong><em>What it alleges</em></strong></p><p>Gatto, Code, Dawkins and Augustine funneled $150,000 to a player, likely Nassir Little, to get him to commit to Miami, then sign with Adidas and Dawkins&#39; agency once turning pro. This is the scheme described above involving Miami and Arizona. </p><p>What&#39;s interesting here is the mention of Coach-3, whom the complaint alleges knew about the bribes. Miami head coach Jim Larranaga <a href="https://www.si.com/college-basketball/2017/10/23/jim-larranaga-fbi-investigation-ncaa-miami-basketball" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:told reporters that he is indeed Coach-3" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">told reporters that he is indeed Coach-3</a>, but also said he&#39;s done nothing wrong and neither have any of his assistants. That would seem to suggest that Larranaga believes either Dawkins or Augustine was lying when they told Code that Coach-3 knew about the scheme. </p><p>We know University-7 is Miami because it&#39;s described as a private D-I university in Florida with 16,000 students, and Miami is the only school that fits that description. </p><p><em><strong>Personnel changes</strong></em></p><p>Nassir Little <a href="https://www.si.com/college-basketball/2017/10/04/nassir-little-commitment-north-carolina" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:eventually committed to North Carolina" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">eventually committed to North Carolina</a>. </p><p>Larranaga remains the head coach at Miami and has been steadfast regarding his absolute innocence. “I cannot state more emphatically that I absolutely have no knowledge of any wrongdoing by any member of our staff and I certainly have never engaged in the conduct that some have speculated about,” Larranga said. He turned over phone calls and documents to government officials. </p><h3>USC</h3><p><em><strong>What the complaint says</strong></em></p><p>&quot;CHRISTIAN DAWKINS, and MUNISH SOOD, the defendants, working with (Undercover Agent)-1, paid and/or facilitated the payment of at least $13,000 in bribes to ANTHONY BLAND, a/k/a &quot;Tony,&quot; the defendant, in exchange for BLAND&#39;s agreement to exert his official influence over certain student-athletes that BLAND coached to retain DAWKINS and SOOD&#39;s business management and/or financial advisory services once those players entered the NBA. In addition, and as part of the scheme, DAWKINS and SOOD paid and/or facilitated the payment of an additional $9,000 directly to the families of two student-athletes at University-5 at BLAND&#39;s direction. </p><p><strong><em>What it alleges</em></strong></p><p>Dawkins and Sood paid Bland $13,000 to get him to nudge USC players to their respective businesses. The $9,000 went to two families—one incoming freshman and one rising junior—for similar reasons. We know &quot;University-5&quot; is USC because it&#39;s described as a private D-I university with over 40,000 students, and it&#39;s the school Bland is recruiting for. </p><p><em><strong>Personnel changes</strong></em></p><p>Bland was arrested and subsequently released on $100,000 bail. He is no longer with the program and was indicted by a federal grand jury on Nov. 8.</p><p>Head coach Andy Enfield avoided getting into Bland’s arrest in his initial meeting with reporters. “The situation this week with Coach Bland has been difficult and very challenging and emotional for all of us,” <a href="http://www.latimes.com/sports/usc/la-sp-usc-basketball-20170929-story,amp.html" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Enfield said, according to the LA Times" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">Enfield said, according to the LA Times</a>. “Due to the situation, I’m not allowed to comment, I’ve been instructed not to comment.” When asked about Bland&#39;s antics at Pac-12 media day, Enfield said he found out when everybody else did but wouldn&#39;t comment further. </p><p>Four-star recruit J&#39;Raan Brooks <a href="https://twitter.com/JraanBrooks/status/918954374780608519" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:decommitted" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">decommitted</a> from USC due to &quot;unforeseen circumstances from the recent news that has come to light in regards to the Trojan basketball program.&quot;</p><p>While the report does refer to two players currently on the USC basketball team, the players have not been identified and every player on the roster has been participating in preseason activities. </p><p>Sophomore De&#39;Anthony Melton, who is linked to the investigation, has not played this season due to &quot;a potential eligibility issue,&quot; according to the school. His absence is thought to be tied to the F.B.I.&#39;s investigation. </p><h3>Oklahoma State</h3><p><em><strong>What the complaint says</strong></em></p><p>&quot;MUNISH SOOD, the defendant, and (Cooperating Witness)-1 — having learned from CHRISTIAN DAWKINS, the defendant, that DAWKINS prevoiusly had paid bribes to LAMONT EVANS, the defendant, in order to obtain access to student-athletes coached by EVANS — paid at least $22,000 in bribes to EVANS in exchange for EVANS&#39; agreement to exert his official influence over certain student athletes, first at University-2 and then at University-3, to retain SOOD and (Cooperating Witness)-1&#39;s business advisory and/or investment management services once those players entered the NBA.&quot;</p><p><em><strong>What it alleges</strong></em></p><p>Before coming to Oklahoma State, Evans was an assistant to Frank Martin at South Carolina for four seasons. He received a total of at least $22,000 in bribes from Sood and the cooperating witness. He was paid roughly $2,000 per month. The bribes started while he was at South Carolina and continued after he joined Brad Underwood&#39;s staff at Oklahoma State before the 2016 season.</p><p>One Oklahoma State player is identified, &quot;Player-4,&quot; who Evans described as &quot;the motherf----- that&#39;s scoring 22 points a game.&quot; </p><p>We know &quot;University-3&quot; is Oklahoma State because its description as a public research university with 25,000 students matches Oklahoma State, and it&#39;s where Evans was employed.</p><p><b><i>Personnel changes</i></b></p><p>Evans, who was arrested and released on $50,000 bond, was <a href="https://www.si.com/college-basketball/2017/09/28/oklahoma-state-fires-assistant-coach-lamont-evans-fbi-investigation" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:fired" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">fired</a> on Sept. 28. Evans has been indicted by a federal grand jury. </p><p>Underwood has since left Oklahoma State for the Illinois job. He released the following statement via the Illinois Athletic Department: “Like many in our industry, I was surprised by yesterday’s events. From our first conversation in March, athletic director Josh Whitman and I have shared a mutual commitment to Illinois men’s basketball upholding the highest standards of integrity. I appreciate his ongoing encouragement and support. I stand ready to assist as needed to protect the game of basketball, and those who play it, on our campus and elsewhere.”</p><p>Four-star recruit Antwann Jones, who was ranked No. 45 in the class of 2018 by ESPN, decommitted from Oklahoma State. He <a href="https://twitter.com/j5_twann/status/913540565417029632" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:tweeted" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">tweeted</a>: &quot;Due to the recent events that have taken place, my family and I have decided it&#39;s in my best interest to de-commit from Oklahoma State University.&quot; </p><p>Mike Boynton is now the head coach at Oklahoma State. He&#39;s said he does not fear he&#39;ll lose his job in the wake of the scandal. </p><p>OSU forward Jeffrey Carroll is out indefinitely, pending review of the program the school announced Nov. 10. He will still practice with the team but miss games, including the school&#39;s opener against Pepperdine on Nov. 10. Carroll was expected to be the Cowboys&#39; top performer this year, averaging 17.5 points and 6.6 rebounds last season.</p><h3>South Carolina</h3><p>No individual from South Carolina has been charged, and the university is mentioned only in connection with Evans.</p><p>South Carolina head coach Frank Martin said his university is <a href="http://www.thestate.com/sports/college/university-of-south-carolina/usc-mens-basketball/article177183566.html" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:not being investigated" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">not being investigated</a>. </p><h3>Auburn</h3><p><em><strong>What the complaint says</strong></em></p><p>&quot;(RASHAN) MICHEL told (Cooperating Witness-1) that CHUCK CONNORS PERSON, the defendant, needed money, and exchange for such money, PERSON would agree to steer student-athletes on University-1&#39;s Division I men&#39;s basketball team to retain (Cooperating Witness)-1 &#39;s financial advisory and business management services, as well as MICHEL&#39;s services as a suit maker.&quot;</p><p><em><strong>What it alleges</strong></em></p><p>Person received bribes from Michel, the owner of the clothing label. In exchange, Person would tell his players to use the Cooperating Witness as a financial advisor and buy suits from Michel. The document features multiple anecdotes in which Person negotiates for more money; he brags about the quality of players coming to Auburn and about his level of influence over them. In total, Person was paid $91,500 over a 10-month period.</p><p>We know &quot;University-1&quot; is Auburn because of its description as a public research university located in Alabama. It is also referred to as Person&#39;s alma mater, and Person went to Auburn.</p><p><em><strong>Player suspensions/personnel changes</strong></em></p><p>Person was arrested on six federal charges of fraud and conspiracy and was reportedly <a href="https://www.si.com/college-basketball/2017/11/07/auburn-assistant-chuck-person-indicted-ncaa-fraud-case" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:indicted by a federal grand jury Nov. 7" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">indicted by a federal grand jury Nov. 7</a>. He has been suspended indefinitely without pay by Auburn. </p><p>Two Auburn players, sophomores Austin Wiley and Danjel Purifoy, have been <a href="https://www.si.com/college-basketball/2017/11/02/auburn-suspends-austin-wiley-danjel-purifoy-fbi-complain-investigation" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:suspended indefinitely" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">suspended indefinitely</a>. </p><p>Five-star recruit E.J. Montgomery <a href="https://www.si.com/college-basketball/2017/09/27/ej-montgomery-auburn-tigers-chuck-person-fbi-investigation" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:decommitted from Auburn" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">decommitted from Auburn</a> shortly after Person&#39;s arrest went public.</p><p>Video coordinator Frankie Sullivan and special assistant Jordan VerHulst were put on <a href="https://www.si.com/college-basketball/2017/11/13/auburn-staff-members-administrative-leave-ncaa-fbi-investigation" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:administrative leave" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">administrative leave</a> as a result of the school&#39;s internal investigation. Auburn offered refunds to season-ticket holders shortly after the school was referenced in the F.B.I. complaint. </p><p>Bruce Pearl remains the head coach at Auburn.</p>
What We Know About Each School Implicated in the FBI’s College Basketball Investigation

The college basketball world was turned upside down on Sept. 29 when the the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Southern District of New York laid out findings from an F.B.I. investigation that uncovered mass corruption, bribery and wire fraud involving some of the sport's top programs.

Four assistant coaches were charged with varying violations: Tony Bland of USC, Emanuel "Book" Richardson of Arizona, Lamont Evans of Oklahoma State and Chuck Person of Auburn. No universities nor head coaches have been charged, but the investigation is ongoing, and multiple schools (most notably, Louisville) have been implicated even if no individual from the program has been charged...yet.

It’s a massive story. The U.S. House’s Energy and Commerce Committee has even requested a briefing on the matter.

First, let's outline who the notable non-coaches named in the various suits are. Each of the following men are facing federal charges relating to bribery.

James "Jim" Gatto — Adidas' global sports marketing director for basketball.

Merl Code — a former player for Clemson who is now affiliated with Adidas.

Munish Sood — the founder of Princeton Capital, an investment services firm that, among other ventures, manages professional athletes' money.

Christian Dawkins — Former agent for ASM Sports

Jonathan Brad Augustine — Program director for the Orlando-based (and Adidas-sponsored) 1Family AAU team.

Rashan Michel — Founder and owner of Thompson Bespoke Clothing, a high-end manufacturer based in Atlanta. He was reportedly indicted by a federal grand jury Nov. 7.

Also important to note is the fact that there are three different criminal complaints.

United States of America v. Lamont Evans, Emanuel Richardson, Anthony Bland, Christian Dawkins, and Munish Sood

United States of America v. Chuck Connors Person and Rashan Michel

United States of America v. James Gatto, Merl Code, Christian Dawkins, Jonathan Brad Augustine, and Munish Sood

?The scandal has received an overwhelming amount of coverage, with every piece focusing on a different aspect of the investigation. The legal documents outlining the situation are filled with legal jargon. This is an attempt to compile the most important information pertaining to each university and present it in a digestible way.

Louisville

Louisville finds itself engulfed in yet another embarrassing scandal—this one so salacious that even noted escape artist Rick Pitino couldn't pull another Houdini—but no coach from the university has been charged yet.

Louisville is referred to in the U.S. vs. James Gatto complaint, though no individual working at Louisville is named.

What the complaint says

"In or around May of 2017, at the request of at least one coach from University-6, DAWKINS, James Gatto, a/k/a "Jim," MERL CODE, MUNISH SOOD, the defendants and other agreed to funnel $100,000 (payable in four installments) from Company-1 to the family of Player-10. Shortly after the agreement with the family of Player-10 was reached in late May and early June, Player-10 publicly committed to University-6."

And, later:

"Shortly thereafter, Coach-1 left the room, and DAWKINS, AUUSTINE, UC-1 AND CW-1 proceeded to discuss the Player-10 scheme described in paragraphs 27 to 35, supra, and, in particular, the involvement of Coach-2 in securing funding from Company-1 for Player-10's family. DAWKINS, who had been negotiaating directly with Player-10's family, noted that Company-1 had originally agreed to pay a "certain number" to Player-10's family, but that a rival athletic capparel company was "coming with a higher number," such that DAWKINS needed to "get more" from Company-1 to secure Player-20's commitment to attend University-6. DAWKINS then said that he had spoken with Coach-2 about getting additional money for Player-10's family and informed Coach-2 that "I need you to call Jim Gatto, [the defendant,] who's the head of everything" at Company-1's basketball program.

Based on my review of call records, I am aware that on or about May 27, 2017, JAMES GATTO, a/k/a "Jim," the defendant, had two telephone conversations with a phone number used by Coach-2."

What it alleges

Gatto, Code and Sood paid $100,000 at the request of at least one Louisville coach to Player-10 to get him to commit to Louisville, have Sood manage his money and sign with Adidas upon entering the NBA. Player-10 then committed to Louisville and has been suspended indefinitely.

University-6 is Louisville. We know this because it's described in the suit as a public research university in Kentucky with approximately 22,640 students and 21 varsity sports teams; Louisville's official enrollment is 22,640 and it fields, you guessed it, 21 varsity sports teams. Player-10 appears to be Brian Bowen, as he's the only guy to commit to Louisville in that late-May, early-June time frame (plus, he's the type of five star who could cost $100,000).

The second and third paragraphs is where we see really damning accusations against Pitino. Pitino is believed to be Coach-2, which means this complain accuses him of calling Gatto after being told Bowen needed more money. The third of three calls between Pitino and Gatto came two days before Bowen’s commitment. If you connect the dots, the complaint alleges that Pitino did indeed have direct knowledge of the pay-for-commitment scheme.

Personnel Changes

Pitino was put on administrative leave a day after the complaints were released, and he was officially fired on Oct. 16. Louisville hired David Padgett, who coached under Pitino last season, as its new head coach. Louisville also fired assistant coach Jordan Fair and placed another assistant, Kenny Johnson, on paid leave.

Louisville athletic director Tom Jurich also lost his job as a result of the scandal.

Bowen was immediately suspended from basketball activities but remains a student at Louisville. He has reportedly hired an attorney in hopes of eventually being reinstated.

Two five-star recruits—Anfernee Simons and Courtney Ramey—have decommitted from Louisville as a result of the scandal.

Arizona

What the complaint says

"(Undercover Agent)-1, working with CHRISTIAN DAWKINS and MUNISH SOOD, the defendants, paid and/or facilitated the payment of $20,000 in bribes to Emanuel Richardson, a/k/a 'Book,' the defendant, some of which RICHARDSON appears to have kept for himself and some of which he appears to have provided to at least one prospective high school basketball player ('Player-5') in order to recruit Player-5 to play for University-4. In exchange for the bribe payments, RICHARDSON agreed to use his influence over the student-athletes he coached to pressure them to retain DAWKINS and SOOD as a manager and financial advisor, respectively."

What it alleges

A government agent, in conjunction with Dawkins and Sood, paid Arizona assistant Book Richardson $20,000 so he'd use his clout with Arizona players to sway them toward Dawkins' and Soot's respective businesses. Richardson kept some of the money and gave some to a recruit, believed to be 2018 point guard Jahvon Quinerly.

It's also important to note the Adidas officials—Gatto and Code—aren't implicated in this part of the scheme, as Arizona is a Nike school.

But that's not the only nefarious action Arizona is accused of participating in. There's something really nasty hidden in a part of a complaint that addresses allegations about Miami (we'll get to them later).

What the complaint says

"CODE discussed with GATTO... the involvement of CHRISTIAN DAWKINS and JONATHAN BRAD AUGUSTINE, the defendants, in the scheme to facilitate payments to Player-12 in order to secure Player12's commitment to attend University-7. CODE explained that another Division I university ('University-4') was offering Player-12 $150,000 'and we're trying to keep him from going to one of their schools.'"

What it alleges

Code is trying to get Gatto to agree to pay "Player-12" $150,000 to commit to Miami instead of Arizona.

We know "University-4" is Arizona because it's described in a separate complaint as the school that employs Book Richardson. We also know that Miami is University-7 because the school has confirmed it is being investigated and University-7 is the only school named in the case that fits Miami's description.

Player-12 is believed to be five-star recruit Nassir Little, who plays for Augustine's AAU team—Augustine is accused of funneling Player-12 the money— and was being targeted by Arizona and Miami.

Little's family denies asking for or being offered any money for his commitment.

Personnel changes

Little ended up committing to North Carolina.

Arizona fired Richardson. He has been charged with conspiracy to commit bribery, solicitation of bribes by an agent of a federally funded organization, conspiracy to commit honest services fraud, wire fraud conspiracy and travel act conspiracy. He's currently out on $50,000 bail but was indicted by a federal grand jury on Nov. 8.

Sean Miller remains the head coach of an Arizona team that is ranked third in the preseason AP Poll and favored to win the Pac-12.

After Richardson's arrest, Miller released a statement saying he was "devastated" to learn of the allegations and that he will comply with any investigations into the matter. The statement did not acknowledge any wrongdoing on his part, and he insisted that he has done all he can to "promote and reinforce a culture of compliance."

Miami

Like Louisville, no individual at Miami has been charged, but the school is referenced in the complaint against Gatto, Code, Dawkins and Augustine.

What the complaint says

"JAMES GATTO, a/k/a "Jim," MERL CODE, CHRISTIAN DAWKINS, and JONATHAN BRAD AUGUSTINE, the defendants, and other known and unknown, conspired to illicitly funnel approximately $150,000 from Company-1 to Player-12, another top high school basketball player expected to graduate in 2018, to assist one or more coaches at University-7 in securing Player-12's commitment to play at University-7, and to further ensure that Player-12 ultimately signed with DAWKINS and with Company-1 upon entering a professional league."

"CHRISTIAN DAWKINS and MERL CODE, the defendants, discussed—on a telephone call intercepted over the Dawkins Wiretap—paying Player-12 and/or his family at the request of at least one coach at University-7 ("Coach-3"). During the call, DAWKINS and CODE discussed the involvement of Coach-3 in ensuring that Company-1 would funnel payments to Player-12 in order to secure Player-12's committment to play at Univeristy-7. In particular, on the call, DAWKINS told CODE that, according to JONATHAN BRAD AUGUSTINE, the defendant, "[Coach-3] knows everything," and that they could "start the process" to funnel the payments to Player-12 in order to ensure that Player-12 would commit to attend University-7 upon his graduation in 2018."

What it alleges

Gatto, Code, Dawkins and Augustine funneled $150,000 to a player, likely Nassir Little, to get him to commit to Miami, then sign with Adidas and Dawkins' agency once turning pro. This is the scheme described above involving Miami and Arizona.

What's interesting here is the mention of Coach-3, whom the complaint alleges knew about the bribes. Miami head coach Jim Larranaga told reporters that he is indeed Coach-3, but also said he's done nothing wrong and neither have any of his assistants. That would seem to suggest that Larranaga believes either Dawkins or Augustine was lying when they told Code that Coach-3 knew about the scheme.

We know University-7 is Miami because it's described as a private D-I university in Florida with 16,000 students, and Miami is the only school that fits that description.

Personnel changes

Nassir Little eventually committed to North Carolina.

Larranaga remains the head coach at Miami and has been steadfast regarding his absolute innocence. “I cannot state more emphatically that I absolutely have no knowledge of any wrongdoing by any member of our staff and I certainly have never engaged in the conduct that some have speculated about,” Larranga said. He turned over phone calls and documents to government officials.

USC

What the complaint says

"CHRISTIAN DAWKINS, and MUNISH SOOD, the defendants, working with (Undercover Agent)-1, paid and/or facilitated the payment of at least $13,000 in bribes to ANTHONY BLAND, a/k/a "Tony," the defendant, in exchange for BLAND's agreement to exert his official influence over certain student-athletes that BLAND coached to retain DAWKINS and SOOD's business management and/or financial advisory services once those players entered the NBA. In addition, and as part of the scheme, DAWKINS and SOOD paid and/or facilitated the payment of an additional $9,000 directly to the families of two student-athletes at University-5 at BLAND's direction.

What it alleges

Dawkins and Sood paid Bland $13,000 to get him to nudge USC players to their respective businesses. The $9,000 went to two families—one incoming freshman and one rising junior—for similar reasons. We know "University-5" is USC because it's described as a private D-I university with over 40,000 students, and it's the school Bland is recruiting for.

Personnel changes

Bland was arrested and subsequently released on $100,000 bail. He is no longer with the program and was indicted by a federal grand jury on Nov. 8.

Head coach Andy Enfield avoided getting into Bland’s arrest in his initial meeting with reporters. “The situation this week with Coach Bland has been difficult and very challenging and emotional for all of us,” Enfield said, according to the LA Times. “Due to the situation, I’m not allowed to comment, I’ve been instructed not to comment.” When asked about Bland's antics at Pac-12 media day, Enfield said he found out when everybody else did but wouldn't comment further.

Four-star recruit J'Raan Brooks decommitted from USC due to "unforeseen circumstances from the recent news that has come to light in regards to the Trojan basketball program."

While the report does refer to two players currently on the USC basketball team, the players have not been identified and every player on the roster has been participating in preseason activities.

Sophomore De'Anthony Melton, who is linked to the investigation, has not played this season due to "a potential eligibility issue," according to the school. His absence is thought to be tied to the F.B.I.'s investigation.

Oklahoma State

What the complaint says

"MUNISH SOOD, the defendant, and (Cooperating Witness)-1 — having learned from CHRISTIAN DAWKINS, the defendant, that DAWKINS prevoiusly had paid bribes to LAMONT EVANS, the defendant, in order to obtain access to student-athletes coached by EVANS — paid at least $22,000 in bribes to EVANS in exchange for EVANS' agreement to exert his official influence over certain student athletes, first at University-2 and then at University-3, to retain SOOD and (Cooperating Witness)-1's business advisory and/or investment management services once those players entered the NBA."

What it alleges

Before coming to Oklahoma State, Evans was an assistant to Frank Martin at South Carolina for four seasons. He received a total of at least $22,000 in bribes from Sood and the cooperating witness. He was paid roughly $2,000 per month. The bribes started while he was at South Carolina and continued after he joined Brad Underwood's staff at Oklahoma State before the 2016 season.

One Oklahoma State player is identified, "Player-4," who Evans described as "the motherf----- that's scoring 22 points a game."

We know "University-3" is Oklahoma State because its description as a public research university with 25,000 students matches Oklahoma State, and it's where Evans was employed.

Personnel changes

Evans, who was arrested and released on $50,000 bond, was fired on Sept. 28. Evans has been indicted by a federal grand jury.

Underwood has since left Oklahoma State for the Illinois job. He released the following statement via the Illinois Athletic Department: “Like many in our industry, I was surprised by yesterday’s events. From our first conversation in March, athletic director Josh Whitman and I have shared a mutual commitment to Illinois men’s basketball upholding the highest standards of integrity. I appreciate his ongoing encouragement and support. I stand ready to assist as needed to protect the game of basketball, and those who play it, on our campus and elsewhere.”

Four-star recruit Antwann Jones, who was ranked No. 45 in the class of 2018 by ESPN, decommitted from Oklahoma State. He tweeted: "Due to the recent events that have taken place, my family and I have decided it's in my best interest to de-commit from Oklahoma State University."

Mike Boynton is now the head coach at Oklahoma State. He's said he does not fear he'll lose his job in the wake of the scandal.

OSU forward Jeffrey Carroll is out indefinitely, pending review of the program the school announced Nov. 10. He will still practice with the team but miss games, including the school's opener against Pepperdine on Nov. 10. Carroll was expected to be the Cowboys' top performer this year, averaging 17.5 points and 6.6 rebounds last season.

South Carolina

No individual from South Carolina has been charged, and the university is mentioned only in connection with Evans.

South Carolina head coach Frank Martin said his university is not being investigated.

Auburn

What the complaint says

"(RASHAN) MICHEL told (Cooperating Witness-1) that CHUCK CONNORS PERSON, the defendant, needed money, and exchange for such money, PERSON would agree to steer student-athletes on University-1's Division I men's basketball team to retain (Cooperating Witness)-1 's financial advisory and business management services, as well as MICHEL's services as a suit maker."

What it alleges

Person received bribes from Michel, the owner of the clothing label. In exchange, Person would tell his players to use the Cooperating Witness as a financial advisor and buy suits from Michel. The document features multiple anecdotes in which Person negotiates for more money; he brags about the quality of players coming to Auburn and about his level of influence over them. In total, Person was paid $91,500 over a 10-month period.

We know "University-1" is Auburn because of its description as a public research university located in Alabama. It is also referred to as Person's alma mater, and Person went to Auburn.

Player suspensions/personnel changes

Person was arrested on six federal charges of fraud and conspiracy and was reportedly indicted by a federal grand jury Nov. 7. He has been suspended indefinitely without pay by Auburn.

Two Auburn players, sophomores Austin Wiley and Danjel Purifoy, have been suspended indefinitely.

Five-star recruit E.J. Montgomery decommitted from Auburn shortly after Person's arrest went public.

Video coordinator Frankie Sullivan and special assistant Jordan VerHulst were put on administrative leave as a result of the school's internal investigation. Auburn offered refunds to season-ticket holders shortly after the school was referenced in the F.B.I. complaint.

Bruce Pearl remains the head coach at Auburn.

UCLA men&#39;s basketball head coach Steve Alford speaks at a press conference at UCLA in Los Angeles, California, U.S., November 15, 2017. REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson
UCLA men's basketball head coach Steve Alford speaks at a press conference at UCLA in Los Angeles
UCLA men's basketball head coach Steve Alford speaks at a press conference at UCLA in Los Angeles, California, U.S., November 15, 2017. REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson
UCLA men&#39;s basketball head coach Steve Alford speaks at a press conference at UCLA in Los Angeles, California, U.S., November 15, 2017. REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson
UCLA men's basketball head coach Steve Alford speaks at a press conference at UCLA in Los Angeles
UCLA men's basketball head coach Steve Alford speaks at a press conference at UCLA in Los Angeles, California, U.S., November 15, 2017. REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson
UCLA men&#39;s basketball head coach Steve Alford speaks at a press conference at UCLA in Los Angeles, California, U.S., November 15, 2017. REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson
UCLA men's basketball head coach Steve Alford speaks at a press conference at UCLA in Los Angeles
UCLA men's basketball head coach Steve Alford speaks at a press conference at UCLA in Los Angeles, California, U.S., November 15, 2017. REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson
UCLA men&#39;s basketball head coach Steve Alford listens at a press conference at UCLA in Los Angeles, California, U.S., November 15, 2017. REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson
UCLA men's basketball head coach Steve Alford listens at a press conference at UCLA in Los Angeles
UCLA men's basketball head coach Steve Alford listens at a press conference at UCLA in Los Angeles, California, U.S., November 15, 2017. REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson
The U.S. men&apos;s basketball team has selected Greensboro, North Carolina, to host its first home World Cup qualifying game.
USA men’s basketball picks Greensboro, NC, for 1st home game
The U.S. men's basketball team has selected Greensboro, North Carolina, to host its first home World Cup qualifying game.
The KFC Yum! Center where the University of Louisville men&#39;s basketball team plays, is pictured in Louisville, Kentucky, U.S., September 28, 2017. REUTERS/Chris Kenning
The KFC Yum! Center where the University of Louisville men's basketball team plays, is pictured in Louisville
The KFC Yum! Center where the University of Louisville men's basketball team plays, is pictured in Louisville, Kentucky, U.S., September 28, 2017. REUTERS/Chris Kenning
The KFC Yum! Center where the University of Louisville men&#39;s basketball team plays, is pictured in Louisville, Kentucky, U.S., September 28, 2017. REUTERS/Chris Kenning
The KFC Yum! Center where the University of Louisville men's basketball team plays, is pictured in Louisville
The KFC Yum! Center where the University of Louisville men's basketball team plays, is pictured in Louisville, Kentucky, U.S., September 28, 2017. REUTERS/Chris Kenning
<p>On Dec. 28, 2015, Omri Casspi had arguably the best game of his career: The veteran forward scored a career–high 36 points, including nine three-pointers, on the road against the defending champion Warriors. That’s the player the Warriors hope they added this summer, when Casspi joined Golden State on a one-year contract.</p><p>Casspi is at a crucial juncture in his career. After eight years in the league, most recently a down season that saw him play for three different teams, the Israeli forward might have to fight for minutes this season with the loaded Warriors. Still, his ability to shoot threes—he’s a 36.7% career shooter from beyond the arc—could make him an invaluable role player.</p><p>Before stepping on the court for his new team, Casspi traveled to his home country with NBA commissioner Adam Silver, Basketball Hall of Famer David Robinson and several NBA players for a Basketball Without Borders camp, which brought together kids from 22 different countries and a variety of religious backgrounds. <a href="http://SI.com" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:SI.com" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">SI.com</a> recently spoke to Casspi about the Warriors, Basketball without Borders, representing Israel and more. </p><p><em>This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity.</em></p><p><strong>Stanley Kay: What has the reaction been like in your home country to the news that you</strong><strong>’re joining the NBA champions?</strong></p><p><strong>Omri Casspi: </strong>It was crazy. The Warriors—one thing about them, besides the fact that they’re champions—people really love them. They really love the way they play, they love their players, they love their personnel, they love the way the organization is being handled from the ownership down to the GM, coaches and everybody else. And I remember the next day—I went to sleep, and since 6 a.m. my phone was blowing up. I had 400 missed calls, texts from all over, the prime minister, the minister of sport, and a crazy amount of love really. People were really excited about it. And I felt like it’s a dream come true. You have the opportunity to join this caliber of an organization with this caliber of people, of personalities, of people that are working in this organization. It’s just a dream come true, and I’m looking forward to that challenge.</p><p><strong>SK: What did Bibi [Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu] text you?</strong></p><p><strong>OC: </strong>Yeah, he was really excited. I talked to him, and I talked to the minister of sport on the phone. They said they’re really proud and they’re looking forward to the opportunity of me playing there and coming to watch. It was overwhelming, in a sense. When I got drafted, people were going crazy back home and this was even crazier.</p><p><strong>SK: You</strong><strong>’ve yet to actually participate in a playoff game in your career. How big of a factor was it to join a contender?</strong></p><p><strong>OC: </strong>It was very big. So many times there are good players on bad teams and they don’t get the credit that they sometimes deserve to. I felt that we had years in Sacramento that we played as individuals maybe we played better than as a team. We never really got the credit that we deserved to, and I felt that I’ve been in the league for eight years now, I’m 29, there’s nothing I want more than to win. And there’s nothing that I want more than to help my team win basketball games, whether it’s on the court or off the court.</p><p>Obviously there will be games that I might play, and that I might not play. So I want to be the best teammate I can be to my teammates, the most supportive and the guy that does all the things that need to be done to help the team win. And obviously great that a team like the Warriors reached out and gave me that opportunity. I’ve been around long enough now to understand what I’m getting into, and I’m looking forward to that challenge.</p><p><strong>SK: You dropped 36 points on the Warriors a couple years ago. I imagine that ranks highly on your career highlights.</strong></p><p><strong>OC: </strong>No question. It was definitely a night to remember. Sometimes you have big nights, but it doesn’t really happen like that when you go back and forth with one of the greatest shooters of all-time, if not the greatest. It was obviously a night to remember.</p><p><strong>SK: Say it</strong><strong>’s in the end of the game, a couple seconds left on the clock, Warriors down by three. You</strong><strong>’ve got the ball, and somehow Kevin Durant, Klay Thompson and Steph Curry are all open behind the three-point arc. Who are you passing to?</strong></p><p><strong>OC: </strong>[Laughs] That’s a good question. I’d take a timeout, I’d think about it. Honestly, I don’t know—they’re all great. Really, honestly, it depends who has the best game. With that caliber of shooters, and as good as teammates as they are, I feel like if one guy got it going, that’s the smart play to do.</p><p><strong>SK: Or maybe you could just pull up.</strong></p><p><strong>OC: </strong>Oh, yeah. I don’t think Steve Kerr would be too happy with that. [Laughs]</p><p><strong>SK: You</strong><strong>’ve been in the United States for eight years now. Have you managed to </strong><a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2009/07/19/sports/basketball/19casspi.html?mcubz=3" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:find good hummus yet" class="link rapid-noclick-resp"><strong>find good hummus yet</strong></a><strong>?</strong></p><p><strong>OC: </strong>[Laughs] Actually there is. There’s one in L.A. that really resembles home. It’s called Dr. Sandwich. It’s actually an Israeli guy that does really good hummus and really good shawarma.</p><p><strong>SK: At least in my experience at grocery stores, I</strong><strong>’ve never found anything like the hummus I ate in Israel when I visited.</strong></p><p><strong>OC: </strong>Oh, no question.</p><p><strong>SK: Obviously you</strong><strong>’ve brought a lot of NBA players to Israel over the years. What NBA player would you most want to bring to Israel that you haven</strong><strong>’t been able to bring yet?</strong></p><p><strong>OC: </strong>I don’t know, that’s a very good question. I always felt that bringing NBA guys to Israel is obviously great for them to see Israel and to kind of interact with fans all over the world that they have and see the history, etc. But it’s also great for the country. It’s creating a great P.R. for a beautiful country that gets so much bad P.R. at times. My thought was always just helping basketball develop and helping our country have a very good atmosphere and buzz around it. Because it deserves it.</p><p><strong>SK: You mentioned</strong><strong> good P.R. for Israel. What was your reaction when the NFL player Michael Bennett decided to withdraw from a sponsored trip to Israel over concerns that he was being used for public relations?</strong></p><p><strong>OC: </strong>When things are coming out this way, it creates a negativity in a sense. Creating good P.R. is obviously a thought, but it’s not the purpose of the trip. The purpose of the trip is us having fun. And I never ask any of my guys to upload pictures or to talk about Israel or what not. It happens naturally. Because guys are coming and they have a good time and they see the love. We went to the Western Wall on a Friday night one day, and we had thousands of people following us around and taking pictures and showing so much love. I don’t think they ever get love like that anywhere. Sometimes we do work for the communities and bring kids from different communities and do the work, and that alone creates great atmosphere. So when football players decide not to be used, I can understand. He doesn’t need to be used. He’s a grown man, and we’re all grown men. Whether they come in and they like the country or not, it’s up to them.</p><p><strong>SK: Have you ever encountered a similar situation where maybe a player you invite has concerns about the trip, and if so how do you handle that?</strong></p><p><strong>OC: </strong>No, never, because it was never about it. This is not what it was about. It was always about us going and having a good time, and having a summer together. And sometimes with my teammates, it’s getting to know each other. I had Caron Butler and Rudy Gay and DeMarcus Cousins all coming together and working out, and going to drink wine at night and talking about the season and what it’s going to be like, and what we can do to help the team win. So it’s never really about creating a P.R. It happens naturally because people are having a good time.</p><p><strong>SK: Was going to the Dead Sea with Boogie Cousins as fun as it looked in that picture?</strong></p><p><strong>OC: </strong>That was a day to remember. We had a great time.</p><p><strong>SK: On a more serious note, we</strong><strong>’ve seen resurgent anti-Semitism in the U.S. The Anti-Defamation League </strong><a href="https://www.adl.org/news/press-releases/us-anti-semitic-incidents-spike-86-percent-so-far-in-2017" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:said" class="link rapid-noclick-resp"><strong>said</strong></a><strong> anti-Semitic incidents were up 86% in the first three months of this year.</strong><strong> How close of attention have you paid to this resurgence of anti-Semitism in your adopted home?</strong></p><p><strong>OC:</strong> I always do. I’m always concerned for the wellbeing of my family and the people I know around me and the Jewish communities around the country. I don’t think that what happened in Virginia resembled the U.S. I never felt, in my personal life, anti-Semitism from people, especially in the U.S.—on the basketball court or in my private life. We live in a crazy time. But there’s plenty of wonderful people here in the U.S. that are so much against it. We see the media going against it, and people around the country going against it. Hopefully this will go away as it came around, and that us as people will just come together and banish those who are trying to do those horrible things.</p><p><strong>SK: One of the people in the NBA who</strong><strong>’s been the most outspoken about this stuff is your new coach, Steve Kerr. Is that something that players around the league take notice of, when a coach is willing to speak out?</strong></p><p>Of course. No question. It’s part of our life. I never really got into politics and stuff like that, but when things of that nature are coming around, you can’t just not appreciate people standing up to that. We definitely appreciate that.</p><p><strong>SK: You say you</strong><strong>’ve never gotten into politics, but you</strong><strong>’re the sole representative of Israel in the NBA and there aren</strong><strong>’t many Jewish players in the league. Do you feel like when there</strong><strong>’s an important issue</strong><strong>, whether it</strong><strong>’s resurgent anti-Semitism or something to do with Israel, do you feel more of an obligation to speak up, now that your fellow players are speaking up about issues that are important to them as well?</strong></p><p>It really depends what it is. I won’t get to who the president is, or whatever it is, but anti-Semitism is something that’s above politics. Anti-Semitism is something that I’m always going to stand up against, and be against it obviously and support my people. But I won’t get into conflicts—whether it’s conflicts in politics, the Middle East, whatever it is. It’s not my job. I’m an athlete and I don’t want to get into that. But anti-Semitism—and not only that, just racism in general, people going up against them because of the color of their skin, their race or their religion—I’m always going to stand up against that. But that would be about it.</p><p><em>(Note: SI spoke to Casspi earlier this month, before President Trump tweeted that he had </em><em>“withdrawn</em><em>” the Warriors</em><em>’ White House invitation. On Sunday, Casspi addressed the incident. </em><em>“The number one job of a president is bringing people together,</em><em>” he </em><a href="http://www.haaretz.com/world-news/americas/1.813866" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:said" class="link rapid-noclick-resp"><em>said</em></a><em>. </em><em>“He</em><em>’s the one who chose to be at the top, but he needs to bring people together. What he</em><em>’s creating is a divide between the people.</em><em>”)</em></p><p><strong>SK: In August, you helped lead a Basketball Without Borders program in Tel Aviv, the first time Israel has hosted the event. Why do you think it</strong><strong>’s important to bring together children of different faiths and backgrounds, and why do you think basketball is a good way to do that?</strong></p><p>Sports in general is a great way to connect people from different communities. I’ve been in the league for eight years, and I’ve been working on bringing Basketball Without Borders to Israel for the past five years. I felt like this year one of the things I was really proud of, besides the fact that it’s so great for basketball in Israel and it’s creating such good attention for basketball and sports in Israel, but we had an opportunity to connect people from different communities outside of basketball. We did so much off the court work, bringing kids from the Muslim community and kids from the Jewish community, and by playing basketball and by talking in different group chats, creating a bridge of connecting people from different backgrounds. So many times, those kids, they don’t have that opportunity before. I felt like kids made friendships for a lifetime.</p>
Omri Casspi Q&A: The Warriors, Israel and Basketball Without Borders

On Dec. 28, 2015, Omri Casspi had arguably the best game of his career: The veteran forward scored a career–high 36 points, including nine three-pointers, on the road against the defending champion Warriors. That’s the player the Warriors hope they added this summer, when Casspi joined Golden State on a one-year contract.

Casspi is at a crucial juncture in his career. After eight years in the league, most recently a down season that saw him play for three different teams, the Israeli forward might have to fight for minutes this season with the loaded Warriors. Still, his ability to shoot threes—he’s a 36.7% career shooter from beyond the arc—could make him an invaluable role player.

Before stepping on the court for his new team, Casspi traveled to his home country with NBA commissioner Adam Silver, Basketball Hall of Famer David Robinson and several NBA players for a Basketball Without Borders camp, which brought together kids from 22 different countries and a variety of religious backgrounds. SI.com recently spoke to Casspi about the Warriors, Basketball without Borders, representing Israel and more.

This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity.

Stanley Kay: What has the reaction been like in your home country to the news that you’re joining the NBA champions?

Omri Casspi: It was crazy. The Warriors—one thing about them, besides the fact that they’re champions—people really love them. They really love the way they play, they love their players, they love their personnel, they love the way the organization is being handled from the ownership down to the GM, coaches and everybody else. And I remember the next day—I went to sleep, and since 6 a.m. my phone was blowing up. I had 400 missed calls, texts from all over, the prime minister, the minister of sport, and a crazy amount of love really. People were really excited about it. And I felt like it’s a dream come true. You have the opportunity to join this caliber of an organization with this caliber of people, of personalities, of people that are working in this organization. It’s just a dream come true, and I’m looking forward to that challenge.

SK: What did Bibi [Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu] text you?

OC: Yeah, he was really excited. I talked to him, and I talked to the minister of sport on the phone. They said they’re really proud and they’re looking forward to the opportunity of me playing there and coming to watch. It was overwhelming, in a sense. When I got drafted, people were going crazy back home and this was even crazier.

SK: You’ve yet to actually participate in a playoff game in your career. How big of a factor was it to join a contender?

OC: It was very big. So many times there are good players on bad teams and they don’t get the credit that they sometimes deserve to. I felt that we had years in Sacramento that we played as individuals maybe we played better than as a team. We never really got the credit that we deserved to, and I felt that I’ve been in the league for eight years now, I’m 29, there’s nothing I want more than to win. And there’s nothing that I want more than to help my team win basketball games, whether it’s on the court or off the court.

Obviously there will be games that I might play, and that I might not play. So I want to be the best teammate I can be to my teammates, the most supportive and the guy that does all the things that need to be done to help the team win. And obviously great that a team like the Warriors reached out and gave me that opportunity. I’ve been around long enough now to understand what I’m getting into, and I’m looking forward to that challenge.

SK: You dropped 36 points on the Warriors a couple years ago. I imagine that ranks highly on your career highlights.

OC: No question. It was definitely a night to remember. Sometimes you have big nights, but it doesn’t really happen like that when you go back and forth with one of the greatest shooters of all-time, if not the greatest. It was obviously a night to remember.

SK: Say it’s in the end of the game, a couple seconds left on the clock, Warriors down by three. You’ve got the ball, and somehow Kevin Durant, Klay Thompson and Steph Curry are all open behind the three-point arc. Who are you passing to?

OC: [Laughs] That’s a good question. I’d take a timeout, I’d think about it. Honestly, I don’t know—they’re all great. Really, honestly, it depends who has the best game. With that caliber of shooters, and as good as teammates as they are, I feel like if one guy got it going, that’s the smart play to do.

SK: Or maybe you could just pull up.

OC: Oh, yeah. I don’t think Steve Kerr would be too happy with that. [Laughs]

SK: You’ve been in the United States for eight years now. Have you managed to find good hummus yet?

OC: [Laughs] Actually there is. There’s one in L.A. that really resembles home. It’s called Dr. Sandwich. It’s actually an Israeli guy that does really good hummus and really good shawarma.

SK: At least in my experience at grocery stores, I’ve never found anything like the hummus I ate in Israel when I visited.

OC: Oh, no question.

SK: Obviously you’ve brought a lot of NBA players to Israel over the years. What NBA player would you most want to bring to Israel that you haven’t been able to bring yet?

OC: I don’t know, that’s a very good question. I always felt that bringing NBA guys to Israel is obviously great for them to see Israel and to kind of interact with fans all over the world that they have and see the history, etc. But it’s also great for the country. It’s creating a great P.R. for a beautiful country that gets so much bad P.R. at times. My thought was always just helping basketball develop and helping our country have a very good atmosphere and buzz around it. Because it deserves it.

SK: You mentioned good P.R. for Israel. What was your reaction when the NFL player Michael Bennett decided to withdraw from a sponsored trip to Israel over concerns that he was being used for public relations?

OC: When things are coming out this way, it creates a negativity in a sense. Creating good P.R. is obviously a thought, but it’s not the purpose of the trip. The purpose of the trip is us having fun. And I never ask any of my guys to upload pictures or to talk about Israel or what not. It happens naturally. Because guys are coming and they have a good time and they see the love. We went to the Western Wall on a Friday night one day, and we had thousands of people following us around and taking pictures and showing so much love. I don’t think they ever get love like that anywhere. Sometimes we do work for the communities and bring kids from different communities and do the work, and that alone creates great atmosphere. So when football players decide not to be used, I can understand. He doesn’t need to be used. He’s a grown man, and we’re all grown men. Whether they come in and they like the country or not, it’s up to them.

SK: Have you ever encountered a similar situation where maybe a player you invite has concerns about the trip, and if so how do you handle that?

OC: No, never, because it was never about it. This is not what it was about. It was always about us going and having a good time, and having a summer together. And sometimes with my teammates, it’s getting to know each other. I had Caron Butler and Rudy Gay and DeMarcus Cousins all coming together and working out, and going to drink wine at night and talking about the season and what it’s going to be like, and what we can do to help the team win. So it’s never really about creating a P.R. It happens naturally because people are having a good time.

SK: Was going to the Dead Sea with Boogie Cousins as fun as it looked in that picture?

OC: That was a day to remember. We had a great time.

SK: On a more serious note, we’ve seen resurgent anti-Semitism in the U.S. The Anti-Defamation League said anti-Semitic incidents were up 86% in the first three months of this year. How close of attention have you paid to this resurgence of anti-Semitism in your adopted home?

OC: I always do. I’m always concerned for the wellbeing of my family and the people I know around me and the Jewish communities around the country. I don’t think that what happened in Virginia resembled the U.S. I never felt, in my personal life, anti-Semitism from people, especially in the U.S.—on the basketball court or in my private life. We live in a crazy time. But there’s plenty of wonderful people here in the U.S. that are so much against it. We see the media going against it, and people around the country going against it. Hopefully this will go away as it came around, and that us as people will just come together and banish those who are trying to do those horrible things.

SK: One of the people in the NBA who’s been the most outspoken about this stuff is your new coach, Steve Kerr. Is that something that players around the league take notice of, when a coach is willing to speak out?

Of course. No question. It’s part of our life. I never really got into politics and stuff like that, but when things of that nature are coming around, you can’t just not appreciate people standing up to that. We definitely appreciate that.

SK: You say you’ve never gotten into politics, but you’re the sole representative of Israel in the NBA and there aren’t many Jewish players in the league. Do you feel like when there’s an important issue, whether it’s resurgent anti-Semitism or something to do with Israel, do you feel more of an obligation to speak up, now that your fellow players are speaking up about issues that are important to them as well?

It really depends what it is. I won’t get to who the president is, or whatever it is, but anti-Semitism is something that’s above politics. Anti-Semitism is something that I’m always going to stand up against, and be against it obviously and support my people. But I won’t get into conflicts—whether it’s conflicts in politics, the Middle East, whatever it is. It’s not my job. I’m an athlete and I don’t want to get into that. But anti-Semitism—and not only that, just racism in general, people going up against them because of the color of their skin, their race or their religion—I’m always going to stand up against that. But that would be about it.

(Note: SI spoke to Casspi earlier this month, before President Trump tweeted that he had “withdrawn” the Warriors’ White House invitation. On Sunday, Casspi addressed the incident. “The number one job of a president is bringing people together,” he said. “He’s the one who chose to be at the top, but he needs to bring people together. What he’s creating is a divide between the people.”)

SK: In August, you helped lead a Basketball Without Borders program in Tel Aviv, the first time Israel has hosted the event. Why do you think it’s important to bring together children of different faiths and backgrounds, and why do you think basketball is a good way to do that?

Sports in general is a great way to connect people from different communities. I’ve been in the league for eight years, and I’ve been working on bringing Basketball Without Borders to Israel for the past five years. I felt like this year one of the things I was really proud of, besides the fact that it’s so great for basketball in Israel and it’s creating such good attention for basketball and sports in Israel, but we had an opportunity to connect people from different communities outside of basketball. We did so much off the court work, bringing kids from the Muslim community and kids from the Jewish community, and by playing basketball and by talking in different group chats, creating a bridge of connecting people from different backgrounds. So many times, those kids, they don’t have that opportunity before. I felt like kids made friendships for a lifetime.

<p>On Dec. 28, 2015, Omri Casspi had arguably the best game of his career: The veteran forward scored a career–high 36 points, including nine three-pointers, on the road against the defending champion Warriors. That’s the player the Warriors hope they added this summer, when Casspi joined Golden State on a one-year contract.</p><p>Casspi is at a crucial juncture in his career. After eight years in the league, most recently a down season that saw him play for three different teams, the Israeli forward might have to fight for minutes this season with the loaded Warriors. Still, his ability to shoot threes—he’s a 36.7% career shooter from beyond the arc—could make him an invaluable role player.</p><p>Before stepping on the court for his new team, Casspi traveled to his home country with NBA commissioner Adam Silver, Basketball Hall of Famer David Robinson and several NBA players for a Basketball Without Borders camp, which brought together kids from 22 different countries and a variety of religious backgrounds. <a href="http://SI.com" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:SI.com" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">SI.com</a> recently spoke to Casspi about the Warriors, Basketball without Borders, representing Israel and more. </p><p><em>This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity.</em></p><p><strong>Stanley Kay: What has the reaction been like in your home country to the news that you</strong><strong>’re joining the NBA champions?</strong></p><p><strong>Omri Casspi: </strong>It was crazy. The Warriors—one thing about them, besides the fact that they’re champions—people really love them. They really love the way they play, they love their players, they love their personnel, they love the way the organization is being handled from the ownership down to the GM, coaches and everybody else. And I remember the next day—I went to sleep, and since 6 a.m. my phone was blowing up. I had 400 missed calls, texts from all over, the prime minister, the minister of sport, and a crazy amount of love really. People were really excited about it. And I felt like it’s a dream come true. You have the opportunity to join this caliber of an organization with this caliber of people, of personalities, of people that are working in this organization. It’s just a dream come true, and I’m looking forward to that challenge.</p><p><strong>SK: What did Bibi [Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu] text you?</strong></p><p><strong>OC: </strong>Yeah, he was really excited. I talked to him, and I talked to the minister of sport on the phone. They said they’re really proud and they’re looking forward to the opportunity of me playing there and coming to watch. It was overwhelming, in a sense. When I got drafted, people were going crazy back home and this was even crazier.</p><p><strong>SK: You</strong><strong>’ve yet to actually participate in a playoff game in your career. How big of a factor was it to join a contender?</strong></p><p><strong>OC: </strong>It was very big. So many times there are good players on bad teams and they don’t get the credit that they sometimes deserve to. I felt that we had years in Sacramento that we played as individuals maybe we played better than as a team. We never really got the credit that we deserved to, and I felt that I’ve been in the league for eight years now, I’m 29, there’s nothing I want more than to win. And there’s nothing that I want more than to help my team win basketball games, whether it’s on the court or off the court.</p><p>Obviously there will be games that I might play, and that I might not play. So I want to be the best teammate I can be to my teammates, the most supportive and the guy that does all the things that need to be done to help the team win. And obviously great that a team like the Warriors reached out and gave me that opportunity. I’ve been around long enough now to understand what I’m getting into, and I’m looking forward to that challenge.</p><p><strong>SK: You dropped 36 points on the Warriors a couple years ago. I imagine that ranks highly on your career highlights.</strong></p><p><strong>OC: </strong>No question. It was definitely a night to remember. Sometimes you have big nights, but it doesn’t really happen like that when you go back and forth with one of the greatest shooters of all-time, if not the greatest. It was obviously a night to remember.</p><p><strong>SK: Say it</strong><strong>’s in the end of the game, a couple seconds left on the clock, Warriors down by three. You</strong><strong>’ve got the ball, and somehow Kevin Durant, Klay Thompson and Steph Curry are all open behind the three-point arc. Who are you passing to?</strong></p><p><strong>OC: </strong>[Laughs] That’s a good question. I’d take a timeout, I’d think about it. Honestly, I don’t know—they’re all great. Really, honestly, it depends who has the best game. With that caliber of shooters, and as good as teammates as they are, I feel like if one guy got it going, that’s the smart play to do.</p><p><strong>SK: Or maybe you could just pull up.</strong></p><p><strong>OC: </strong>Oh, yeah. I don’t think Steve Kerr would be too happy with that. [Laughs]</p><p><strong>SK: You</strong><strong>’ve been in the United States for eight years now. Have you managed to </strong><a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2009/07/19/sports/basketball/19casspi.html?mcubz=3" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:find good hummus yet" class="link rapid-noclick-resp"><strong>find good hummus yet</strong></a><strong>?</strong></p><p><strong>OC: </strong>[Laughs] Actually there is. There’s one in L.A. that really resembles home. It’s called Dr. Sandwich. It’s actually an Israeli guy that does really good hummus and really good shawarma.</p><p><strong>SK: At least in my experience at grocery stores, I</strong><strong>’ve never found anything like the hummus I ate in Israel when I visited.</strong></p><p><strong>OC: </strong>Oh, no question.</p><p><strong>SK: Obviously you</strong><strong>’ve brought a lot of NBA players to Israel over the years. What NBA player would you most want to bring to Israel that you haven</strong><strong>’t been able to bring yet?</strong></p><p><strong>OC: </strong>I don’t know, that’s a very good question. I always felt that bringing NBA guys to Israel is obviously great for them to see Israel and to kind of interact with fans all over the world that they have and see the history, etc. But it’s also great for the country. It’s creating a great P.R. for a beautiful country that gets so much bad P.R. at times. My thought was always just helping basketball develop and helping our country have a very good atmosphere and buzz around it. Because it deserves it.</p><p><strong>SK: You mentioned</strong><strong> good P.R. for Israel. What was your reaction when the NFL player Michael Bennett decided to withdraw from a sponsored trip to Israel over concerns that he was being used for public relations?</strong></p><p><strong>OC: </strong>When things are coming out this way, it creates a negativity in a sense. Creating good P.R. is obviously a thought, but it’s not the purpose of the trip. The purpose of the trip is us having fun. And I never ask any of my guys to upload pictures or to talk about Israel or what not. It happens naturally. Because guys are coming and they have a good time and they see the love. We went to the Western Wall on a Friday night one day, and we had thousands of people following us around and taking pictures and showing so much love. I don’t think they ever get love like that anywhere. Sometimes we do work for the communities and bring kids from different communities and do the work, and that alone creates great atmosphere. So when football players decide not to be used, I can understand. He doesn’t need to be used. He’s a grown man, and we’re all grown men. Whether they come in and they like the country or not, it’s up to them.</p><p><strong>SK: Have you ever encountered a similar situation where maybe a player you invite has concerns about the trip, and if so how do you handle that?</strong></p><p><strong>OC: </strong>No, never, because it was never about it. This is not what it was about. It was always about us going and having a good time, and having a summer together. And sometimes with my teammates, it’s getting to know each other. I had Caron Butler and Rudy Gay and DeMarcus Cousins all coming together and working out, and going to drink wine at night and talking about the season and what it’s going to be like, and what we can do to help the team win. So it’s never really about creating a P.R. It happens naturally because people are having a good time.</p><p><strong>SK: Was going to the Dead Sea with Boogie Cousins as fun as it looked in that picture?</strong></p><p><strong>OC: </strong>That was a day to remember. We had a great time.</p><p><strong>SK: On a more serious note, we</strong><strong>’ve seen resurgent anti-Semitism in the U.S. The Anti-Defamation League </strong><a href="https://www.adl.org/news/press-releases/us-anti-semitic-incidents-spike-86-percent-so-far-in-2017" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:said" class="link rapid-noclick-resp"><strong>said</strong></a><strong> anti-Semitic incidents were up 86% in the first three months of this year.</strong><strong> How close of attention have you paid to this resurgence of anti-Semitism in your adopted home?</strong></p><p><strong>OC:</strong> I always do. I’m always concerned for the wellbeing of my family and the people I know around me and the Jewish communities around the country. I don’t think that what happened in Virginia resembled the U.S. I never felt, in my personal life, anti-Semitism from people, especially in the U.S.—on the basketball court or in my private life. We live in a crazy time. But there’s plenty of wonderful people here in the U.S. that are so much against it. We see the media going against it, and people around the country going against it. Hopefully this will go away as it came around, and that us as people will just come together and banish those who are trying to do those horrible things.</p><p><strong>SK: One of the people in the NBA who</strong><strong>’s been the most outspoken about this stuff is your new coach, Steve Kerr. Is that something that players around the league take notice of, when a coach is willing to speak out?</strong></p><p>Of course. No question. It’s part of our life. I never really got into politics and stuff like that, but when things of that nature are coming around, you can’t just not appreciate people standing up to that. We definitely appreciate that.</p><p><strong>SK: You say you</strong><strong>’ve never gotten into politics, but you</strong><strong>’re the sole representative of Israel in the NBA and there aren</strong><strong>’t many Jewish players in the league. Do you feel like when there</strong><strong>’s an important issue</strong><strong>, whether it</strong><strong>’s resurgent anti-Semitism or something to do with Israel, do you feel more of an obligation to speak up, now that your fellow players are speaking up about issues that are important to them as well?</strong></p><p>It really depends what it is. I won’t get to who the president is, or whatever it is, but anti-Semitism is something that’s above politics. Anti-Semitism is something that I’m always going to stand up against, and be against it obviously and support my people. But I won’t get into conflicts—whether it’s conflicts in politics, the Middle East, whatever it is. It’s not my job. I’m an athlete and I don’t want to get into that. But anti-Semitism—and not only that, just racism in general, people going up against them because of the color of their skin, their race or their religion—I’m always going to stand up against that. But that would be about it.</p><p><em>(Note: SI spoke to Casspi earlier this month, before President Trump tweeted that he had </em><em>“withdrawn</em><em>” the Warriors</em><em>’ White House invitation. On Sunday, Casspi addressed the incident. </em><em>“The number one job of a president is bringing people together,</em><em>” he </em><a href="http://www.haaretz.com/world-news/americas/1.813866" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:said" class="link rapid-noclick-resp"><em>said</em></a><em>. </em><em>“He</em><em>’s the one who chose to be at the top, but he needs to bring people together. What he</em><em>’s creating is a divide between the people.</em><em>”)</em></p><p><strong>SK: In August, you helped lead a Basketball Without Borders program in Tel Aviv, the first time Israel has hosted the event. Why do you think it</strong><strong>’s important to bring together children of different faiths and backgrounds, and why do you think basketball is a good way to do that?</strong></p><p>Sports in general is a great way to connect people from different communities. I’ve been in the league for eight years, and I’ve been working on bringing Basketball Without Borders to Israel for the past five years. I felt like this year one of the things I was really proud of, besides the fact that it’s so great for basketball in Israel and it’s creating such good attention for basketball and sports in Israel, but we had an opportunity to connect people from different communities outside of basketball. We did so much off the court work, bringing kids from the Muslim community and kids from the Jewish community, and by playing basketball and by talking in different group chats, creating a bridge of connecting people from different backgrounds. So many times, those kids, they don’t have that opportunity before. I felt like kids made friendships for a lifetime.</p>
Omri Casspi Q&A: The Warriors, Israel and Basketball Without Borders

On Dec. 28, 2015, Omri Casspi had arguably the best game of his career: The veteran forward scored a career–high 36 points, including nine three-pointers, on the road against the defending champion Warriors. That’s the player the Warriors hope they added this summer, when Casspi joined Golden State on a one-year contract.

Casspi is at a crucial juncture in his career. After eight years in the league, most recently a down season that saw him play for three different teams, the Israeli forward might have to fight for minutes this season with the loaded Warriors. Still, his ability to shoot threes—he’s a 36.7% career shooter from beyond the arc—could make him an invaluable role player.

Before stepping on the court for his new team, Casspi traveled to his home country with NBA commissioner Adam Silver, Basketball Hall of Famer David Robinson and several NBA players for a Basketball Without Borders camp, which brought together kids from 22 different countries and a variety of religious backgrounds. SI.com recently spoke to Casspi about the Warriors, Basketball without Borders, representing Israel and more.

This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity.

Stanley Kay: What has the reaction been like in your home country to the news that you’re joining the NBA champions?

Omri Casspi: It was crazy. The Warriors—one thing about them, besides the fact that they’re champions—people really love them. They really love the way they play, they love their players, they love their personnel, they love the way the organization is being handled from the ownership down to the GM, coaches and everybody else. And I remember the next day—I went to sleep, and since 6 a.m. my phone was blowing up. I had 400 missed calls, texts from all over, the prime minister, the minister of sport, and a crazy amount of love really. People were really excited about it. And I felt like it’s a dream come true. You have the opportunity to join this caliber of an organization with this caliber of people, of personalities, of people that are working in this organization. It’s just a dream come true, and I’m looking forward to that challenge.

SK: What did Bibi [Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu] text you?

OC: Yeah, he was really excited. I talked to him, and I talked to the minister of sport on the phone. They said they’re really proud and they’re looking forward to the opportunity of me playing there and coming to watch. It was overwhelming, in a sense. When I got drafted, people were going crazy back home and this was even crazier.

SK: You’ve yet to actually participate in a playoff game in your career. How big of a factor was it to join a contender?

OC: It was very big. So many times there are good players on bad teams and they don’t get the credit that they sometimes deserve to. I felt that we had years in Sacramento that we played as individuals maybe we played better than as a team. We never really got the credit that we deserved to, and I felt that I’ve been in the league for eight years now, I’m 29, there’s nothing I want more than to win. And there’s nothing that I want more than to help my team win basketball games, whether it’s on the court or off the court.

Obviously there will be games that I might play, and that I might not play. So I want to be the best teammate I can be to my teammates, the most supportive and the guy that does all the things that need to be done to help the team win. And obviously great that a team like the Warriors reached out and gave me that opportunity. I’ve been around long enough now to understand what I’m getting into, and I’m looking forward to that challenge.

SK: You dropped 36 points on the Warriors a couple years ago. I imagine that ranks highly on your career highlights.

OC: No question. It was definitely a night to remember. Sometimes you have big nights, but it doesn’t really happen like that when you go back and forth with one of the greatest shooters of all-time, if not the greatest. It was obviously a night to remember.

SK: Say it’s in the end of the game, a couple seconds left on the clock, Warriors down by three. You’ve got the ball, and somehow Kevin Durant, Klay Thompson and Steph Curry are all open behind the three-point arc. Who are you passing to?

OC: [Laughs] That’s a good question. I’d take a timeout, I’d think about it. Honestly, I don’t know—they’re all great. Really, honestly, it depends who has the best game. With that caliber of shooters, and as good as teammates as they are, I feel like if one guy got it going, that’s the smart play to do.

SK: Or maybe you could just pull up.

OC: Oh, yeah. I don’t think Steve Kerr would be too happy with that. [Laughs]

SK: You’ve been in the United States for eight years now. Have you managed to find good hummus yet?

OC: [Laughs] Actually there is. There’s one in L.A. that really resembles home. It’s called Dr. Sandwich. It’s actually an Israeli guy that does really good hummus and really good shawarma.

SK: At least in my experience at grocery stores, I’ve never found anything like the hummus I ate in Israel when I visited.

OC: Oh, no question.

SK: Obviously you’ve brought a lot of NBA players to Israel over the years. What NBA player would you most want to bring to Israel that you haven’t been able to bring yet?

OC: I don’t know, that’s a very good question. I always felt that bringing NBA guys to Israel is obviously great for them to see Israel and to kind of interact with fans all over the world that they have and see the history, etc. But it’s also great for the country. It’s creating a great P.R. for a beautiful country that gets so much bad P.R. at times. My thought was always just helping basketball develop and helping our country have a very good atmosphere and buzz around it. Because it deserves it.

SK: You mentioned good P.R. for Israel. What was your reaction when the NFL player Michael Bennett decided to withdraw from a sponsored trip to Israel over concerns that he was being used for public relations?

OC: When things are coming out this way, it creates a negativity in a sense. Creating good P.R. is obviously a thought, but it’s not the purpose of the trip. The purpose of the trip is us having fun. And I never ask any of my guys to upload pictures or to talk about Israel or what not. It happens naturally. Because guys are coming and they have a good time and they see the love. We went to the Western Wall on a Friday night one day, and we had thousands of people following us around and taking pictures and showing so much love. I don’t think they ever get love like that anywhere. Sometimes we do work for the communities and bring kids from different communities and do the work, and that alone creates great atmosphere. So when football players decide not to be used, I can understand. He doesn’t need to be used. He’s a grown man, and we’re all grown men. Whether they come in and they like the country or not, it’s up to them.

SK: Have you ever encountered a similar situation where maybe a player you invite has concerns about the trip, and if so how do you handle that?

OC: No, never, because it was never about it. This is not what it was about. It was always about us going and having a good time, and having a summer together. And sometimes with my teammates, it’s getting to know each other. I had Caron Butler and Rudy Gay and DeMarcus Cousins all coming together and working out, and going to drink wine at night and talking about the season and what it’s going to be like, and what we can do to help the team win. So it’s never really about creating a P.R. It happens naturally because people are having a good time.

SK: Was going to the Dead Sea with Boogie Cousins as fun as it looked in that picture?

OC: That was a day to remember. We had a great time.

SK: On a more serious note, we’ve seen resurgent anti-Semitism in the U.S. The Anti-Defamation League said anti-Semitic incidents were up 86% in the first three months of this year. How close of attention have you paid to this resurgence of anti-Semitism in your adopted home?

OC: I always do. I’m always concerned for the wellbeing of my family and the people I know around me and the Jewish communities around the country. I don’t think that what happened in Virginia resembled the U.S. I never felt, in my personal life, anti-Semitism from people, especially in the U.S.—on the basketball court or in my private life. We live in a crazy time. But there’s plenty of wonderful people here in the U.S. that are so much against it. We see the media going against it, and people around the country going against it. Hopefully this will go away as it came around, and that us as people will just come together and banish those who are trying to do those horrible things.

SK: One of the people in the NBA who’s been the most outspoken about this stuff is your new coach, Steve Kerr. Is that something that players around the league take notice of, when a coach is willing to speak out?

Of course. No question. It’s part of our life. I never really got into politics and stuff like that, but when things of that nature are coming around, you can’t just not appreciate people standing up to that. We definitely appreciate that.

SK: You say you’ve never gotten into politics, but you’re the sole representative of Israel in the NBA and there aren’t many Jewish players in the league. Do you feel like when there’s an important issue, whether it’s resurgent anti-Semitism or something to do with Israel, do you feel more of an obligation to speak up, now that your fellow players are speaking up about issues that are important to them as well?

It really depends what it is. I won’t get to who the president is, or whatever it is, but anti-Semitism is something that’s above politics. Anti-Semitism is something that I’m always going to stand up against, and be against it obviously and support my people. But I won’t get into conflicts—whether it’s conflicts in politics, the Middle East, whatever it is. It’s not my job. I’m an athlete and I don’t want to get into that. But anti-Semitism—and not only that, just racism in general, people going up against them because of the color of their skin, their race or their religion—I’m always going to stand up against that. But that would be about it.

(Note: SI spoke to Casspi earlier this month, before President Trump tweeted that he had “withdrawn” the Warriors’ White House invitation. On Sunday, Casspi addressed the incident. “The number one job of a president is bringing people together,” he said. “He’s the one who chose to be at the top, but he needs to bring people together. What he’s creating is a divide between the people.”)

SK: In August, you helped lead a Basketball Without Borders program in Tel Aviv, the first time Israel has hosted the event. Why do you think it’s important to bring together children of different faiths and backgrounds, and why do you think basketball is a good way to do that?

Sports in general is a great way to connect people from different communities. I’ve been in the league for eight years, and I’ve been working on bringing Basketball Without Borders to Israel for the past five years. I felt like this year one of the things I was really proud of, besides the fact that it’s so great for basketball in Israel and it’s creating such good attention for basketball and sports in Israel, but we had an opportunity to connect people from different communities outside of basketball. We did so much off the court work, bringing kids from the Muslim community and kids from the Jewish community, and by playing basketball and by talking in different group chats, creating a bridge of connecting people from different backgrounds. So many times, those kids, they don’t have that opportunity before. I felt like kids made friendships for a lifetime.

<p>On Dec. 28, 2015, Omri Casspi had arguably the best game of his career: The veteran forward scored a career–high 36 points, including nine three-pointers, on the road against the defending champion Warriors. That’s the player the Warriors hope they added this summer, when Casspi joined Golden State on a one-year contract.</p><p>Casspi is at a crucial juncture in his career. After eight years in the league, most recently a down season that saw him play for three different teams, the Israeli forward might have to fight for minutes this season with the loaded Warriors. Still, his ability to shoot threes—he’s a 36.7% career shooter from beyond the arc—could make him an invaluable role player.</p><p>Before stepping on the court for his new team, Casspi traveled to his home country with NBA commissioner Adam Silver, Basketball Hall of Famer David Robinson and several NBA players for a Basketball Without Borders camp, which brought together kids from 22 different countries and a variety of religious backgrounds. <a href="http://SI.com" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:SI.com" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">SI.com</a> recently spoke to Casspi about the Warriors, Basketball without Borders, representing Israel and more. </p><p><em>This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity.</em></p><p><strong>Stanley Kay: What has the reaction been like in your home country to the news that you</strong><strong>’re joining the NBA champions?</strong></p><p><strong>Omri Casspi: </strong>It was crazy. The Warriors—one thing about them, besides the fact that they’re champions—people really love them. They really love the way they play, they love their players, they love their personnel, they love the way the organization is being handled from the ownership down to the GM, coaches and everybody else. And I remember the next day—I went to sleep, and since 6 a.m. my phone was blowing up. I had 400 missed calls, texts from all over, the prime minister, the minister of sport, and a crazy amount of love really. People were really excited about it. And I felt like it’s a dream come true. You have the opportunity to join this caliber of an organization with this caliber of people, of personalities, of people that are working in this organization. It’s just a dream come true, and I’m looking forward to that challenge.</p><p><strong>SK: What did Bibi [Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu] text you?</strong></p><p><strong>OC: </strong>Yeah, he was really excited. I talked to him, and I talked to the minister of sport on the phone. They said they’re really proud and they’re looking forward to the opportunity of me playing there and coming to watch. It was overwhelming, in a sense. When I got drafted, people were going crazy back home and this was even crazier.</p><p><strong>SK: You</strong><strong>’ve yet to actually participate in a playoff game in your career. How big of a factor was it to join a contender?</strong></p><p><strong>OC: </strong>It was very big. So many times there are good players on bad teams and they don’t get the credit that they sometimes deserve to. I felt that we had years in Sacramento that we played as individuals maybe we played better than as a team. We never really got the credit that we deserved to, and I felt that I’ve been in the league for eight years now, I’m 29, there’s nothing I want more than to win. And there’s nothing that I want more than to help my team win basketball games, whether it’s on the court or off the court.</p><p>Obviously there will be games that I might play, and that I might not play. So I want to be the best teammate I can be to my teammates, the most supportive and the guy that does all the things that need to be done to help the team win. And obviously great that a team like the Warriors reached out and gave me that opportunity. I’ve been around long enough now to understand what I’m getting into, and I’m looking forward to that challenge.</p><p><strong>SK: You dropped 36 points on the Warriors a couple years ago. I imagine that ranks highly on your career highlights.</strong></p><p><strong>OC: </strong>No question. It was definitely a night to remember. Sometimes you have big nights, but it doesn’t really happen like that when you go back and forth with one of the greatest shooters of all-time, if not the greatest. It was obviously a night to remember.</p><p><strong>SK: Say it</strong><strong>’s in the end of the game, a couple seconds left on the clock, Warriors down by three. You</strong><strong>’ve got the ball, and somehow Kevin Durant, Klay Thompson and Steph Curry are all open behind the three-point arc. Who are you passing to?</strong></p><p><strong>OC: </strong>[Laughs] That’s a good question. I’d take a timeout, I’d think about it. Honestly, I don’t know—they’re all great. Really, honestly, it depends who has the best game. With that caliber of shooters, and as good as teammates as they are, I feel like if one guy got it going, that’s the smart play to do.</p><p><strong>SK: Or maybe you could just pull up.</strong></p><p><strong>OC: </strong>Oh, yeah. I don’t think Steve Kerr would be too happy with that. [Laughs]</p><p><strong>SK: You</strong><strong>’ve been in the United States for eight years now. Have you managed to </strong><a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2009/07/19/sports/basketball/19casspi.html?mcubz=3" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:find good hummus yet" class="link rapid-noclick-resp"><strong>find good hummus yet</strong></a><strong>?</strong></p><p><strong>OC: </strong>[Laughs] Actually there is. There’s one in L.A. that really resembles home. It’s called Dr. Sandwich. It’s actually an Israeli guy that does really good hummus and really good shawarma.</p><p><strong>SK: At least in my experience at grocery stores, I</strong><strong>’ve never found anything like the hummus I ate in Israel when I visited.</strong></p><p><strong>OC: </strong>Oh, no question.</p><p><strong>SK: Obviously you</strong><strong>’ve brought a lot of NBA players to Israel over the years. What NBA player would you most want to bring to Israel that you haven</strong><strong>’t been able to bring yet?</strong></p><p><strong>OC: </strong>I don’t know, that’s a very good question. I always felt that bringing NBA guys to Israel is obviously great for them to see Israel and to kind of interact with fans all over the world that they have and see the history, etc. But it’s also great for the country. It’s creating a great P.R. for a beautiful country that gets so much bad P.R. at times. My thought was always just helping basketball develop and helping our country have a very good atmosphere and buzz around it. Because it deserves it.</p><p><strong>SK: You mentioned</strong><strong> good P.R. for Israel. What was your reaction when the NFL player Michael Bennett decided to withdraw from a sponsored trip to Israel over concerns that he was being used for public relations?</strong></p><p><strong>OC: </strong>When things are coming out this way, it creates a negativity in a sense. Creating good P.R. is obviously a thought, but it’s not the purpose of the trip. The purpose of the trip is us having fun. And I never ask any of my guys to upload pictures or to talk about Israel or what not. It happens naturally. Because guys are coming and they have a good time and they see the love. We went to the Western Wall on a Friday night one day, and we had thousands of people following us around and taking pictures and showing so much love. I don’t think they ever get love like that anywhere. Sometimes we do work for the communities and bring kids from different communities and do the work, and that alone creates great atmosphere. So when football players decide not to be used, I can understand. He doesn’t need to be used. He’s a grown man, and we’re all grown men. Whether they come in and they like the country or not, it’s up to them.</p><p><strong>SK: Have you ever encountered a similar situation where maybe a player you invite has concerns about the trip, and if so how do you handle that?</strong></p><p><strong>OC: </strong>No, never, because it was never about it. This is not what it was about. It was always about us going and having a good time, and having a summer together. And sometimes with my teammates, it’s getting to know each other. I had Caron Butler and Rudy Gay and DeMarcus Cousins all coming together and working out, and going to drink wine at night and talking about the season and what it’s going to be like, and what we can do to help the team win. So it’s never really about creating a P.R. It happens naturally because people are having a good time.</p><p><strong>SK: Was going to the Dead Sea with Boogie Cousins as fun as it looked in that picture?</strong></p><p><strong>OC: </strong>That was a day to remember. We had a great time.</p><p><strong>SK: On a more serious note, we</strong><strong>’ve seen resurgent anti-Semitism in the U.S. The Anti-Defamation League </strong><a href="https://www.adl.org/news/press-releases/us-anti-semitic-incidents-spike-86-percent-so-far-in-2017" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:said" class="link rapid-noclick-resp"><strong>said</strong></a><strong> anti-Semitic incidents were up 86% in the first three months of this year.</strong><strong> How close of attention have you paid to this resurgence of anti-Semitism in your adopted home?</strong></p><p><strong>OC:</strong> I always do. I’m always concerned for the wellbeing of my family and the people I know around me and the Jewish communities around the country. I don’t think that what happened in Virginia resembled the U.S. I never felt, in my personal life, anti-Semitism from people, especially in the U.S.—on the basketball court or in my private life. We live in a crazy time. But there’s plenty of wonderful people here in the U.S. that are so much against it. We see the media going against it, and people around the country going against it. Hopefully this will go away as it came around, and that us as people will just come together and banish those who are trying to do those horrible things.</p><p><strong>SK: One of the people in the NBA who</strong><strong>’s been the most outspoken about this stuff is your new coach, Steve Kerr. Is that something that players around the league take notice of, when a coach is willing to speak out?</strong></p><p>Of course. No question. It’s part of our life. I never really got into politics and stuff like that, but when things of that nature are coming around, you can’t just not appreciate people standing up to that. We definitely appreciate that.</p><p><strong>SK: You say you</strong><strong>’ve never gotten into politics, but you</strong><strong>’re the sole representative of Israel in the NBA and there aren</strong><strong>’t many Jewish players in the league. Do you feel like when there</strong><strong>’s an important issue</strong><strong>, whether it</strong><strong>’s resurgent anti-Semitism or something to do with Israel, do you feel more of an obligation to speak up, now that your fellow players are speaking up about issues that are important to them as well?</strong></p><p>It really depends what it is. I won’t get to who the president is, or whatever it is, but anti-Semitism is something that’s above politics. Anti-Semitism is something that I’m always going to stand up against, and be against it obviously and support my people. But I won’t get into conflicts—whether it’s conflicts in politics, the Middle East, whatever it is. It’s not my job. I’m an athlete and I don’t want to get into that. But anti-Semitism—and not only that, just racism in general, people going up against them because of the color of their skin, their race or their religion—I’m always going to stand up against that. But that would be about it.</p><p><em>(Note: SI spoke to Casspi earlier this month, before President Trump tweeted that he had </em><em>“withdrawn</em><em>” the Warriors</em><em>’ White House invitation. On Sunday, Casspi addressed the incident. </em><em>“The number one job of a president is bringing people together,</em><em>” he </em><a href="http://www.haaretz.com/world-news/americas/1.813866" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:said" class="link rapid-noclick-resp"><em>said</em></a><em>. </em><em>“He</em><em>’s the one who chose to be at the top, but he needs to bring people together. What he</em><em>’s creating is a divide between the people.</em><em>”)</em></p><p><strong>SK: In August, you helped lead a Basketball Without Borders program in Tel Aviv, the first time Israel has hosted the event. Why do you think it</strong><strong>’s important to bring together children of different faiths and backgrounds, and why do you think basketball is a good way to do that?</strong></p><p>Sports in general is a great way to connect people from different communities. I’ve been in the league for eight years, and I’ve been working on bringing Basketball Without Borders to Israel for the past five years. I felt like this year one of the things I was really proud of, besides the fact that it’s so great for basketball in Israel and it’s creating such good attention for basketball and sports in Israel, but we had an opportunity to connect people from different communities outside of basketball. We did so much off the court work, bringing kids from the Muslim community and kids from the Jewish community, and by playing basketball and by talking in different group chats, creating a bridge of connecting people from different backgrounds. So many times, those kids, they don’t have that opportunity before. I felt like kids made friendships for a lifetime.</p>
Omri Casspi Q&A: The Warriors, Israel and Basketball Without Borders

On Dec. 28, 2015, Omri Casspi had arguably the best game of his career: The veteran forward scored a career–high 36 points, including nine three-pointers, on the road against the defending champion Warriors. That’s the player the Warriors hope they added this summer, when Casspi joined Golden State on a one-year contract.

Casspi is at a crucial juncture in his career. After eight years in the league, most recently a down season that saw him play for three different teams, the Israeli forward might have to fight for minutes this season with the loaded Warriors. Still, his ability to shoot threes—he’s a 36.7% career shooter from beyond the arc—could make him an invaluable role player.

Before stepping on the court for his new team, Casspi traveled to his home country with NBA commissioner Adam Silver, Basketball Hall of Famer David Robinson and several NBA players for a Basketball Without Borders camp, which brought together kids from 22 different countries and a variety of religious backgrounds. SI.com recently spoke to Casspi about the Warriors, Basketball without Borders, representing Israel and more.

This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity.

Stanley Kay: What has the reaction been like in your home country to the news that you’re joining the NBA champions?

Omri Casspi: It was crazy. The Warriors—one thing about them, besides the fact that they’re champions—people really love them. They really love the way they play, they love their players, they love their personnel, they love the way the organization is being handled from the ownership down to the GM, coaches and everybody else. And I remember the next day—I went to sleep, and since 6 a.m. my phone was blowing up. I had 400 missed calls, texts from all over, the prime minister, the minister of sport, and a crazy amount of love really. People were really excited about it. And I felt like it’s a dream come true. You have the opportunity to join this caliber of an organization with this caliber of people, of personalities, of people that are working in this organization. It’s just a dream come true, and I’m looking forward to that challenge.

SK: What did Bibi [Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu] text you?

OC: Yeah, he was really excited. I talked to him, and I talked to the minister of sport on the phone. They said they’re really proud and they’re looking forward to the opportunity of me playing there and coming to watch. It was overwhelming, in a sense. When I got drafted, people were going crazy back home and this was even crazier.

SK: You’ve yet to actually participate in a playoff game in your career. How big of a factor was it to join a contender?

OC: It was very big. So many times there are good players on bad teams and they don’t get the credit that they sometimes deserve to. I felt that we had years in Sacramento that we played as individuals maybe we played better than as a team. We never really got the credit that we deserved to, and I felt that I’ve been in the league for eight years now, I’m 29, there’s nothing I want more than to win. And there’s nothing that I want more than to help my team win basketball games, whether it’s on the court or off the court.

Obviously there will be games that I might play, and that I might not play. So I want to be the best teammate I can be to my teammates, the most supportive and the guy that does all the things that need to be done to help the team win. And obviously great that a team like the Warriors reached out and gave me that opportunity. I’ve been around long enough now to understand what I’m getting into, and I’m looking forward to that challenge.

SK: You dropped 36 points on the Warriors a couple years ago. I imagine that ranks highly on your career highlights.

OC: No question. It was definitely a night to remember. Sometimes you have big nights, but it doesn’t really happen like that when you go back and forth with one of the greatest shooters of all-time, if not the greatest. It was obviously a night to remember.

SK: Say it’s in the end of the game, a couple seconds left on the clock, Warriors down by three. You’ve got the ball, and somehow Kevin Durant, Klay Thompson and Steph Curry are all open behind the three-point arc. Who are you passing to?

OC: [Laughs] That’s a good question. I’d take a timeout, I’d think about it. Honestly, I don’t know—they’re all great. Really, honestly, it depends who has the best game. With that caliber of shooters, and as good as teammates as they are, I feel like if one guy got it going, that’s the smart play to do.

SK: Or maybe you could just pull up.

OC: Oh, yeah. I don’t think Steve Kerr would be too happy with that. [Laughs]

SK: You’ve been in the United States for eight years now. Have you managed to find good hummus yet?

OC: [Laughs] Actually there is. There’s one in L.A. that really resembles home. It’s called Dr. Sandwich. It’s actually an Israeli guy that does really good hummus and really good shawarma.

SK: At least in my experience at grocery stores, I’ve never found anything like the hummus I ate in Israel when I visited.

OC: Oh, no question.

SK: Obviously you’ve brought a lot of NBA players to Israel over the years. What NBA player would you most want to bring to Israel that you haven’t been able to bring yet?

OC: I don’t know, that’s a very good question. I always felt that bringing NBA guys to Israel is obviously great for them to see Israel and to kind of interact with fans all over the world that they have and see the history, etc. But it’s also great for the country. It’s creating a great P.R. for a beautiful country that gets so much bad P.R. at times. My thought was always just helping basketball develop and helping our country have a very good atmosphere and buzz around it. Because it deserves it.

SK: You mentioned good P.R. for Israel. What was your reaction when the NFL player Michael Bennett decided to withdraw from a sponsored trip to Israel over concerns that he was being used for public relations?

OC: When things are coming out this way, it creates a negativity in a sense. Creating good P.R. is obviously a thought, but it’s not the purpose of the trip. The purpose of the trip is us having fun. And I never ask any of my guys to upload pictures or to talk about Israel or what not. It happens naturally. Because guys are coming and they have a good time and they see the love. We went to the Western Wall on a Friday night one day, and we had thousands of people following us around and taking pictures and showing so much love. I don’t think they ever get love like that anywhere. Sometimes we do work for the communities and bring kids from different communities and do the work, and that alone creates great atmosphere. So when football players decide not to be used, I can understand. He doesn’t need to be used. He’s a grown man, and we’re all grown men. Whether they come in and they like the country or not, it’s up to them.

SK: Have you ever encountered a similar situation where maybe a player you invite has concerns about the trip, and if so how do you handle that?

OC: No, never, because it was never about it. This is not what it was about. It was always about us going and having a good time, and having a summer together. And sometimes with my teammates, it’s getting to know each other. I had Caron Butler and Rudy Gay and DeMarcus Cousins all coming together and working out, and going to drink wine at night and talking about the season and what it’s going to be like, and what we can do to help the team win. So it’s never really about creating a P.R. It happens naturally because people are having a good time.

SK: Was going to the Dead Sea with Boogie Cousins as fun as it looked in that picture?

OC: That was a day to remember. We had a great time.

SK: On a more serious note, we’ve seen resurgent anti-Semitism in the U.S. The Anti-Defamation League said anti-Semitic incidents were up 86% in the first three months of this year. How close of attention have you paid to this resurgence of anti-Semitism in your adopted home?

OC: I always do. I’m always concerned for the wellbeing of my family and the people I know around me and the Jewish communities around the country. I don’t think that what happened in Virginia resembled the U.S. I never felt, in my personal life, anti-Semitism from people, especially in the U.S.—on the basketball court or in my private life. We live in a crazy time. But there’s plenty of wonderful people here in the U.S. that are so much against it. We see the media going against it, and people around the country going against it. Hopefully this will go away as it came around, and that us as people will just come together and banish those who are trying to do those horrible things.

SK: One of the people in the NBA who’s been the most outspoken about this stuff is your new coach, Steve Kerr. Is that something that players around the league take notice of, when a coach is willing to speak out?

Of course. No question. It’s part of our life. I never really got into politics and stuff like that, but when things of that nature are coming around, you can’t just not appreciate people standing up to that. We definitely appreciate that.

SK: You say you’ve never gotten into politics, but you’re the sole representative of Israel in the NBA and there aren’t many Jewish players in the league. Do you feel like when there’s an important issue, whether it’s resurgent anti-Semitism or something to do with Israel, do you feel more of an obligation to speak up, now that your fellow players are speaking up about issues that are important to them as well?

It really depends what it is. I won’t get to who the president is, or whatever it is, but anti-Semitism is something that’s above politics. Anti-Semitism is something that I’m always going to stand up against, and be against it obviously and support my people. But I won’t get into conflicts—whether it’s conflicts in politics, the Middle East, whatever it is. It’s not my job. I’m an athlete and I don’t want to get into that. But anti-Semitism—and not only that, just racism in general, people going up against them because of the color of their skin, their race or their religion—I’m always going to stand up against that. But that would be about it.

(Note: SI spoke to Casspi earlier this month, before President Trump tweeted that he had “withdrawn” the Warriors’ White House invitation. On Sunday, Casspi addressed the incident. “The number one job of a president is bringing people together,” he said. “He’s the one who chose to be at the top, but he needs to bring people together. What he’s creating is a divide between the people.”)

SK: In August, you helped lead a Basketball Without Borders program in Tel Aviv, the first time Israel has hosted the event. Why do you think it’s important to bring together children of different faiths and backgrounds, and why do you think basketball is a good way to do that?

Sports in general is a great way to connect people from different communities. I’ve been in the league for eight years, and I’ve been working on bringing Basketball Without Borders to Israel for the past five years. I felt like this year one of the things I was really proud of, besides the fact that it’s so great for basketball in Israel and it’s creating such good attention for basketball and sports in Israel, but we had an opportunity to connect people from different communities outside of basketball. We did so much off the court work, bringing kids from the Muslim community and kids from the Jewish community, and by playing basketball and by talking in different group chats, creating a bridge of connecting people from different backgrounds. So many times, those kids, they don’t have that opportunity before. I felt like kids made friendships for a lifetime.

Members of U.S team show their medals after they won silver medals for the Men&#39;s Basketball Gold Medal Game at the 29th Summer Universiade in Taipei, Taiwan, Tuesday, Aug. 29, 2017. (AP Photo/Chiang Ying-ying)
Members of U.S team show their medals after they won silver medals for the Men's Basketball Gold Medal Game at the 29th Summer Universiade in Taipei, Taiwan, Tuesday, Aug. 29, 2017. (AP Photo/Chiang Ying-ying)
Members of U.S team show their medals after they won silver medals for the Men's Basketball Gold Medal Game at the 29th Summer Universiade in Taipei, Taiwan, Tuesday, Aug. 29, 2017. (AP Photo/Chiang Ying-ying)
Members of U.S team show their medals after they won silver medals for the Men&#39;s Basketball Gold Medal Game at the 29th Summer Universiade in Taipei, Taiwan, Tuesday, Aug. 29, 2017. (AP Photo/Chiang Ying-ying)
Members of U.S team show their medals after they won silver medals for the Men's Basketball Gold Medal Game at the 29th Summer Universiade in Taipei, Taiwan, Tuesday, Aug. 29, 2017. (AP Photo/Chiang Ying-ying)
Members of U.S team show their medals after they won silver medals for the Men's Basketball Gold Medal Game at the 29th Summer Universiade in Taipei, Taiwan, Tuesday, Aug. 29, 2017. (AP Photo/Chiang Ying-ying)
Members of U.S team show their medals after winning silver medals during the Men&#39;s Basketball Gold Medal Game at the 29th Summer Universiade in Taipei, Taiwan, Tuesday Aug. 29, 2017. (AP Photo/Chiang Ying-ying)
Members of U.S team show their medals after winning silver medals during the Men's Basketball Gold Medal Game at the 29th Summer Universiade in Taipei, Taiwan, Tuesday Aug. 29, 2017. (AP Photo/Chiang Ying-ying)
Members of U.S team show their medals after winning silver medals during the Men's Basketball Gold Medal Game at the 29th Summer Universiade in Taipei, Taiwan, Tuesday Aug. 29, 2017. (AP Photo/Chiang Ying-ying)
Serbia&#39;s Novak Topalovic, left, defends Eden Weing (5) of the U.S. go up for the basket during their Men&#39;s Basketball semifinal game at the 29th Summer Universiade in Taipei, Taiwan, Monday, Aug. 28, 2017. (AP Photo/Chiang Ying-ying)
Serbia's Novak Topalovic, left, defends Eden Weing (5) of the U.S. go up for the basket during their Men's Basketball semifinal game at the 29th Summer Universiade in Taipei, Taiwan, Monday, Aug. 28, 2017. (AP Photo/Chiang Ying-ying)
Serbia's Novak Topalovic, left, defends Eden Weing (5) of the U.S. go up for the basket during their Men's Basketball semifinal game at the 29th Summer Universiade in Taipei, Taiwan, Monday, Aug. 28, 2017. (AP Photo/Chiang Ying-ying)
Serbia&#39;s Andrija Matic (13) defends Eden Weing (5) of the U.S. go p for the basket during their Men&#39;s Basketball semifinal game at the 29th Summer Universiade in Taipei, Taiwan, Monday, Aug. 28, 2017. (AP Photo/Chiang Ying-ying)
Serbia's Andrija Matic (13) defends Eden Weing (5) of the U.S. go p for the basket during their Men's Basketball semifinal game at the 29th Summer Universiade in Taipei, Taiwan, Monday, Aug. 28, 2017. (AP Photo/Chiang Ying-ying)
Serbia's Andrija Matic (13) defends Eden Weing (5) of the U.S. go p for the basket during their Men's Basketball semifinal game at the 29th Summer Universiade in Taipei, Taiwan, Monday, Aug. 28, 2017. (AP Photo/Chiang Ying-ying)
Serbia&#39;s Milos Vranes (11) defends Aaron Wheeler, center, of the U.S. go up for the basket during their Men&#39;s Basketball semifinal game at the 29th Summer Universiade in Taipei, Taiwan, Monday, Aug. 28, 2017. (AP Photo/Chiang Ying-ying)
Serbia's Milos Vranes (11) defends Aaron Wheeler, center, of the U.S. go up for the basket during their Men's Basketball semifinal game at the 29th Summer Universiade in Taipei, Taiwan, Monday, Aug. 28, 2017. (AP Photo/Chiang Ying-ying)
Serbia's Milos Vranes (11) defends Aaron Wheeler, center, of the U.S. go up for the basket during their Men's Basketball semifinal game at the 29th Summer Universiade in Taipei, Taiwan, Monday, Aug. 28, 2017. (AP Photo/Chiang Ying-ying)
Isaac Haas (44) of the U.S. goes up for the basket defended by Serbia&#39;s Marko Tejic, left, and Veljko Brkic during the Men&#39;s Basketball semifinal game at the 29th Summer Universiade in Taipei, Taiwan, Monday, Aug. 28, 2017. (AP Photo/Chiang Ying-ying)
Isaac Haas (44) of the U.S. goes up for the basket defended by Serbia's Marko Tejic, left, and Veljko Brkic during the Men's Basketball semifinal game at the 29th Summer Universiade in Taipei, Taiwan, Monday, Aug. 28, 2017. (AP Photo/Chiang Ying-ying)
Isaac Haas (44) of the U.S. goes up for the basket defended by Serbia's Marko Tejic, left, and Veljko Brkic during the Men's Basketball semifinal game at the 29th Summer Universiade in Taipei, Taiwan, Monday, Aug. 28, 2017. (AP Photo/Chiang Ying-ying)
Carsen Edwards (3) of the U.S. and Serbia&#39;s Marko Tejic, left, fight for a loose ball during the Men&#39;s Basketball semifinal game at the 29th Summer Universiade in Taipei, Taiwan, Monday, Aug. 28, 2017. (AP Photo/Chiang Ying-ying)
Carsen Edwards (3) of the U.S. and Serbia's Marko Tejic, left, fight for a loose ball during the Men's Basketball semifinal game at the 29th Summer Universiade in Taipei, Taiwan, Monday, Aug. 28, 2017. (AP Photo/Chiang Ying-ying)
Carsen Edwards (3) of the U.S. and Serbia's Marko Tejic, left, fight for a loose ball during the Men's Basketball semifinal game at the 29th Summer Universiade in Taipei, Taiwan, Monday, Aug. 28, 2017. (AP Photo/Chiang Ying-ying)
Carsen Edwards (3) of the U.S. goes up for basket through Serbia&#39;s Carsen Edwards, left, and Novak Topalovic (20) during the Men&#39;s Basketball semifinal game at the 29th Summer Universiade in Taipei, Taiwan, Monday, Aug. 28, 2017. (AP Photo/Chiang Ying-ying)
Carsen Edwards (3) of the U.S. goes up for basket through Serbia's Carsen Edwards, left, and Novak Topalovic (20) during the Men's Basketball semifinal game at the 29th Summer Universiade in Taipei, Taiwan, Monday, Aug. 28, 2017. (AP Photo/Chiang Ying-ying)
Carsen Edwards (3) of the U.S. goes up for basket through Serbia's Carsen Edwards, left, and Novak Topalovic (20) during the Men's Basketball semifinal game at the 29th Summer Universiade in Taipei, Taiwan, Monday, Aug. 28, 2017. (AP Photo/Chiang Ying-ying)
Carsen Edwards, left, of the U.S. is defended by Serbia&#39;s Marko Tejic (15) and Andrija Sarenac (6) during the Men&#39;s Basketball semifinal game at the 29th Summer Universiade in Taipei, Taiwan, Monday, Aug. 28, 2017. (AP Photo/Chiang Ying-ying)
Carsen Edwards, left, of the U.S. is defended by Serbia's Marko Tejic (15) and Andrija Sarenac (6) during the Men's Basketball semifinal game at the 29th Summer Universiade in Taipei, Taiwan, Monday, Aug. 28, 2017. (AP Photo/Chiang Ying-ying)
Carsen Edwards, left, of the U.S. is defended by Serbia's Marko Tejic (15) and Andrija Sarenac (6) during the Men's Basketball semifinal game at the 29th Summer Universiade in Taipei, Taiwan, Monday, Aug. 28, 2017. (AP Photo/Chiang Ying-ying)
Carsen Edwards (3) of the U.S. drives past Serbia&#39;s Milos Vranes, center, during the Men&#39;s Basketball semifinal game at the 29th Summer Universiade in Taipei, Taiwan, Monday, Aug. 28, 2017. (AP Photo/Chiang Ying-ying)
Carsen Edwards (3) of the U.S. drives past Serbia's Milos Vranes, center, during the Men's Basketball semifinal game at the 29th Summer Universiade in Taipei, Taiwan, Monday, Aug. 28, 2017. (AP Photo/Chiang Ying-ying)
Carsen Edwards (3) of the U.S. drives past Serbia's Milos Vranes, center, during the Men's Basketball semifinal game at the 29th Summer Universiade in Taipei, Taiwan, Monday, Aug. 28, 2017. (AP Photo/Chiang Ying-ying)
FILE - In this June 2, 2016, file photo, television announcer Jeff Van Gundy speaks before Game 1 of basketball&#39;s NBA Finals between the Golden State Warriors and the Cleveland Cavaliers, in Oakland, Calif. Former NBA coach Jeff Van Gundy will lead the U.S. men’s basketball team through the early stages of qualifying for the 2019 Basketball World Cup. He will guide a team made up of mostly NBA G League players in this summer’s FIBA AmeriCup 2017 tournament and in qualifying games between November and September 2018. USA Basketball announced Van Gundy’s appointment Wednesday, July 5, 2017. (AP Photo/Ben Margot, File)
FILE - In this June 2, 2016, file photo, television announcer Jeff Van Gundy speaks before Game 1 of basketball's NBA Finals between the Golden State Warriors and the Cleveland Cavaliers, in Oakland, Calif. Former NBA coach Jeff Van Gundy will lead the U.S. men’s basketball team through the early stages of qualifying for the 2019 Basketball World Cup. He will guide a team made up of mostly NBA G League players in this summer’s FIBA AmeriCup 2017 tournament and in qualifying games between November and September 2018. USA Basketball announced Van Gundy’s appointment Wednesday, July 5, 2017. (AP Photo/Ben Margot, File)
FILE - In this June 2, 2016, file photo, television announcer Jeff Van Gundy speaks before Game 1 of basketball's NBA Finals between the Golden State Warriors and the Cleveland Cavaliers, in Oakland, Calif. Former NBA coach Jeff Van Gundy will lead the U.S. men’s basketball team through the early stages of qualifying for the 2019 Basketball World Cup. He will guide a team made up of mostly NBA G League players in this summer’s FIBA AmeriCup 2017 tournament and in qualifying games between November and September 2018. USA Basketball announced Van Gundy’s appointment Wednesday, July 5, 2017. (AP Photo/Ben Margot, File)
John Calipari would prefer to focus on the players he wants and the offense he’ll run. This time, there are other concerns. When he leads the U.S. basketball team into the Under-19 World Cup for men, they will travel to Egypt, home to enough violence lately that the Americans questioned whether it was safe enough […]
US steps up security for U19 basketball tournament in Egypt
John Calipari would prefer to focus on the players he wants and the offense he’ll run. This time, there are other concerns. When he leads the U.S. basketball team into the Under-19 World Cup for men, they will travel to Egypt, home to enough violence lately that the Americans questioned whether it was safe enough […]
John Calipari would prefer to focus on the players he wants and the offense he’ll run. This time, there are other concerns. When he leads the U.S. basketball team into the Under-19 World Cup for men, they will travel to Egypt, home to enough violence lately that the Americans questioned whether it was safe enough […]
US steps up security for U19 basketball tournament in Egypt
John Calipari would prefer to focus on the players he wants and the offense he’ll run. This time, there are other concerns. When he leads the U.S. basketball team into the Under-19 World Cup for men, they will travel to Egypt, home to enough violence lately that the Americans questioned whether it was safe enough […]
John Calipari would prefer to focus on the players he wants and the offense he’ll run. This time, there are other concerns. When he leads the U.S. basketball team into the Under-19 World Cup for men, they will travel to Egypt, home to enough violence lately that the Americans questioned whether it was safe enough […]
US steps up security for U19 basketball tournament in Egypt
John Calipari would prefer to focus on the players he wants and the offense he’ll run. This time, there are other concerns. When he leads the U.S. basketball team into the Under-19 World Cup for men, they will travel to Egypt, home to enough violence lately that the Americans questioned whether it was safe enough […]
FILE - In this March 26, 2017, file photo, Kentucky coach John Calipari gestures during the first half of the South Regional final against North Carolina in the NCAA college basketball tournament in Memphis, Tenn. When Calipari leads the U.S. men into the under-19 world basketball championship, they will travel to Egypt, home to enough violence lately that the Americans questioned whether it was safe enough to even go defend their title. Gen. Martin Dempsey, the former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, is now USA Basketballs chairman, and a conversation a few weeks ago that detailed the Americans security plans and procedures put Caliparis mind at ease. (AP Photo/Brandon Dill, File)
US steps up security for U19 basketball tournament in Egypt
FILE - In this March 26, 2017, file photo, Kentucky coach John Calipari gestures during the first half of the South Regional final against North Carolina in the NCAA college basketball tournament in Memphis, Tenn. When Calipari leads the U.S. men into the under-19 world basketball championship, they will travel to Egypt, home to enough violence lately that the Americans questioned whether it was safe enough to even go defend their title. Gen. Martin Dempsey, the former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, is now USA Basketballs chairman, and a conversation a few weeks ago that detailed the Americans security plans and procedures put Caliparis mind at ease. (AP Photo/Brandon Dill, File)
FILE - In this March 26, 2017, file photo, Kentucky coach John Calipari gestures during the first half of the South Regional final against North Carolina in the NCAA college basketball tournament in Memphis, Tenn. When Calipari leads the U.S. men into the under-19 world basketball championship, they will travel to Egypt, home to enough violence lately that the Americans questioned whether it was safe enough to even go defend their title. Gen. Martin Dempsey, the former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, is now USA Basketball’s chairman, and a conversation a few weeks ago that detailed the Americans’ security plans and procedures put Calipari’s mind at ease. (AP Photo/Brandon Dill, File)
FILE - In this March 26, 2017, file photo, Kentucky coach John Calipari gestures during the first half of the South Regional final against North Carolina in the NCAA college basketball tournament in Memphis, Tenn. When Calipari leads the U.S. men into the under-19 world basketball championship, they will travel to Egypt, home to enough violence lately that the Americans questioned whether it was safe enough to even go defend their title. Gen. Martin Dempsey, the former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, is now USA Basketball’s chairman, and a conversation a few weeks ago that detailed the Americans’ security plans and procedures put Calipari’s mind at ease. (AP Photo/Brandon Dill, File)
FILE - In this March 26, 2017, file photo, Kentucky coach John Calipari gestures during the first half of the South Regional final against North Carolina in the NCAA college basketball tournament in Memphis, Tenn. When Calipari leads the U.S. men into the under-19 world basketball championship, they will travel to Egypt, home to enough violence lately that the Americans questioned whether it was safe enough to even go defend their title. Gen. Martin Dempsey, the former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, is now USA Basketball’s chairman, and a conversation a few weeks ago that detailed the Americans’ security plans and procedures put Calipari’s mind at ease. (AP Photo/Brandon Dill, File)
<p> FILE - In this March 26, 2017, file photo, Kentucky coach John Calipari gestures during the first half of the South Regional final against North Carolina in the NCAA college basketball tournament in Memphis, Tenn. When Calipari leads the U.S. men into the under-19 world basketball championship, they will travel to Egypt, home to enough violence lately that the Americans questioned whether it was safe enough to even go defend their title. Gen. Martin Dempsey, the former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, is now USA Basketball’s chairman, and a conversation a few weeks ago that detailed the Americans’ security plans and procedures put Calipari’s mind at ease. (AP Photo/Brandon Dill, File) </p>
US steps up security for U19 basketball tournament in Egypt

FILE - In this March 26, 2017, file photo, Kentucky coach John Calipari gestures during the first half of the South Regional final against North Carolina in the NCAA college basketball tournament in Memphis, Tenn. When Calipari leads the U.S. men into the under-19 world basketball championship, they will travel to Egypt, home to enough violence lately that the Americans questioned whether it was safe enough to even go defend their title. Gen. Martin Dempsey, the former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, is now USA Basketball’s chairman, and a conversation a few weeks ago that detailed the Americans’ security plans and procedures put Calipari’s mind at ease. (AP Photo/Brandon Dill, File)

The Cincinnati men&#39;s basketball team holds a large U.S. flag as the national anthem is played on senior night before the team&#39;s NCAA college basketball game against Houston, Thursday, March 2, 2017, in Cincinnati. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)
The Cincinnati men's basketball team holds a large U.S. flag as the national anthem is played on senior night before the team's NCAA college basketball game against Houston, Thursday, March 2, 2017, in Cincinnati. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)
The Cincinnati men's basketball team holds a large U.S. flag as the national anthem is played on senior night before the team's NCAA college basketball game against Houston, Thursday, March 2, 2017, in Cincinnati. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)
2016 Rio Olympics - Basketball - Quarterfinal - Men&#39;s Quarterfinal USA v Argentina - Carioca Arena 1 - Rio de Janeiro, Brazil - 17/8/2016. Former U.S. boxer Floyd Mayweather Jr gestures during the game. REUTERS/Jim Young/Files
Basketball - Men's Quarterfinal USA v Argentina
2016 Rio Olympics - Basketball - Quarterfinal - Men's Quarterfinal USA v Argentina - Carioca Arena 1 - Rio de Janeiro, Brazil - 17/8/2016. Former U.S. boxer Floyd Mayweather Jr gestures during the game. REUTERS/Jim Young/Files
Highlights from all five Patriot League men&#39;s basketball games on Wednesday night, including Bucknell&#39;s win at Lafayette and Boston U&#39;s overtime win over Army. Lehigh, Loyola and Navy also picked up wins Wednesday.
PLN Studio Update: Men's Basketball (1.26.17)
Highlights from all five Patriot League men's basketball games on Wednesday night, including Bucknell's win at Lafayette and Boston U's overtime win over Army. Lehigh, Loyola and Navy also picked up wins Wednesday.
Highlights from all five Patriot League men&#39;s basketball games on Wednesday night, including Bucknell&#39;s win at Lafayette and Boston U&#39;s overtime win over Army. Lehigh, Loyola and Navy also picked up wins Wednesday.
PLN Studio Update: Men's Basketball (1.26.17)
Highlights from all five Patriot League men's basketball games on Wednesday night, including Bucknell's win at Lafayette and Boston U's overtime win over Army. Lehigh, Loyola and Navy also picked up wins Wednesday.
Highlights from all five Patriot League men's basketball games on Wednesday night, including Bucknell's win at Lafayette and Boston U's overtime win over Army. Lehigh, Loyola and Navy also picked up wins Wednesday.
PLN Studio Update: Men's Basketball (1.26.17)
Highlights from all five Patriot League men's basketball games on Wednesday night, including Bucknell's win at Lafayette and Boston U's overtime win over Army. Lehigh, Loyola and Navy also picked up wins Wednesday.
Highlights from all five Patriot League men&#39;s basketball games on Wednesday night, including Bucknell&#39;s win at Lafayette and Boston U&#39;s overtime win over Army. Lehigh, Loyola and Navy also picked up wins Wednesday.
PLN Studio Update: Men's Basketball (1.26.17)
Highlights from all five Patriot League men's basketball games on Wednesday night, including Bucknell's win at Lafayette and Boston U's overtime win over Army. Lehigh, Loyola and Navy also picked up wins Wednesday.
FILE PHOTO: U.S. President Barack Obama (L) and British Prime Minister David Cameron each eat hot dogs at a first round &quot;First Four&quot; game of the NCAA Division I Men&#39;s Basketball Tournament between Mississippi Valley State and Western Kentucky at the University of Dayton Arena in Ohio, March 13, 2012. REUTERS/Larry Downing/File Photo
FILE PHOTO: U.S. President Barack Obama and British Prime Minister Cameron each eat hot dogs at NCAA basketball tournament game in Ohio
FILE PHOTO: U.S. President Barack Obama (L) and British Prime Minister David Cameron each eat hot dogs at a first round "First Four" game of the NCAA Division I Men's Basketball Tournament between Mississippi Valley State and Western Kentucky at the University of Dayton Arena in Ohio, March 13, 2012. REUTERS/Larry Downing/File Photo
Highlights from Wednesday night&#39;s slate of Patriot League men&#39;s basketball games, including Lehigh&#39;s big win at Bucknell and Boston U&#39;s victory to remain undefeated in League play.
PLN Studio Update: Men's Basketball (1.12.17)
Highlights from Wednesday night's slate of Patriot League men's basketball games, including Lehigh's big win at Bucknell and Boston U's victory to remain undefeated in League play.
Highlights from Wednesday night&#39;s slate of Patriot League men&#39;s basketball games, including Lehigh&#39;s big win at Bucknell and Boston U&#39;s victory to remain undefeated in League play.
PLN Studio Update: Men's Basketball (1.12.17)
Highlights from Wednesday night's slate of Patriot League men's basketball games, including Lehigh's big win at Bucknell and Boston U's victory to remain undefeated in League play.
Highlights from Wednesday night's slate of Patriot League men's basketball games, including Lehigh's big win at Bucknell and Boston U's victory to remain undefeated in League play.
PLN Studio Update: Men's Basketball (1.12.17)
Highlights from Wednesday night's slate of Patriot League men's basketball games, including Lehigh's big win at Bucknell and Boston U's victory to remain undefeated in League play.
Highlights from Wednesday night&#39;s slate of Patriot League men&#39;s basketball games, including Lehigh&#39;s big win at Bucknell and Boston U&#39;s victory to remain undefeated in League play.
PLN Studio Update: Men's Basketball (1.12.17)
Highlights from Wednesday night's slate of Patriot League men's basketball games, including Lehigh's big win at Bucknell and Boston U's victory to remain undefeated in League play.

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